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Tamen utile quid sit 
Prospiciunt aliquando. 

Juv. Sat. 6, lin. 31tf. 

Docti rationem artis intelligunt, indocti, voluptatem. 

Quint, lib. ix. 4. 



31, poultry; 

At the Union Printins-Office, St. John's Square, by IV. Wilson, 




Michael Angelo 









Julius Caesar. 




Gerard Douw. 









Louis XVI. 


Pliny the Elder. 
Pliny the Younger. 


Septimius Severus. 
Alex. Severus. 









Judith with the head of Holofernes -. - Allore. 

Marriage at Cana ------ Le Brun. 

Mary Magdalen ------ Ditto. 

Horatii -- ------ David. 

Happiness of a Rural Life - Gerard. 

Hercules killing the Hydra - Guido. 

Death of Sappho ------ Gros. 

Grecian Ambassadors at the Tent of Achilles - Ingres. 

Twelfth Day ------- Jordaens. 

The four Evangelists . - - - - - Ditto. 

Death of Leonardo da Vinci - Menageoit. 

Moses exposed ------ Poussin. 

-Rape of the Sabines .- - - - - Ditto. 

St. Peter and St. John curing the Sick - - Ditto. 

Holy Family ------- Raphael. 

Marriage of Mary de Medicis - - - - Rubens. 

Felicity of the Regency ----- Ditto. 

Henry IV. setting out for the War - Ditto. 

Resurrection ------- Ditto. 

Hercules restoring Alcestes - Taillason. 

Pilgrims at Emmaus ----- Titian. 

Henry IV. and Sully ----- Vincent. 

Angel appearing to the Shepherds - Vanderwerf. 

Dead Christ - Vandyck. 

Assembly of Artists Vouet. 

The Martyrdom of St. Laurence - - •> Le Sueur. 

Jesus Christ at Emmaus - - - - Titian, 



Phocion (a §tatue) ------ Antique. 

Hercules -------- Boucliet. 

Aristides -------- Cartelier. 

Medallion on the re-establishment of Religious \ 

Worship ------ 3* 

N, Poussik (a Statue"! ----- Julieru 



This statue in marble, of the proportion of six feet, 
is placed in the Hall of the Institute, at Paris. It is 
considered one of the best productions of an artist, who, 
by his other works, has reflected honour on French 

M. Lebreton, perpetual secretary of the fine arts in 
the Institute, delivered an admirable eulogium on the 
merits of this excellent statuary, who died in the month 
of December, 1804, in his seventy-fourth year. The 
limits of this publication not permitting us to report the 
whole of his discourse, we must confine ourselves to the 
following passage, which has a reference to the subject 
before us. 

" M. Julien had undertaken the statue of Poussin, 
but peculiar circumstances, far from exciting him to other 
labours, compelled him so slowly to execute this work, 
that he considered it as his last production. He ap- 
peared desirous of living only to finish it. Nature, in a 
manner, but granted him his request. He died three 
months after its exhibition at the Louvre. 

" The subject presented two considerable difficulties ; 
one, so common to all statuaries — the stiffness of the 
modern costume : the other, to give an exact resemblance 


of the features of Poussin. The former obstacle he over- 
came by a probable fiction. He has supposed that 
Poussin, who had been long resident at Rome, among 
other peculiarities, was in the habit of sleeping naked 
during the summer. 

" Having conceived in the night a happy thought for 
his ' Will of Eudamides/ and fearful that it might 
escape him, he immediately arose, covered himself with 
his cloak, and delineated the cherished idea. The com- 
position has the merit of expressing the reflecting mind 
of Poussin ;— -always occupied with his works, he was 
thereby enabled to delineate, with propriety, the nudity 
of the arms and legs, and to clothe them with suitable 

" But, by ennobling the style and costume of the statue, 
the difficulty was augmented of preserving sufficient cha- 
racter in the countenance. Fortunately, the features of 
Poussin were of a serious cast, which, in a two-fold de- 
gree aided the conceptions of the artist. The labour of 
the chisel represents Poussin in the flower of his age/' 


n -' . ; 



Aristippus was born at Cyrene, in Africa. He was 
a disciple of Socrates, but differed much from the doc- 
trine of that illustrious master. The one acknowledged 
no happiness but in virtue, the other found no enjoyment 
but in voluptuousness. A lively wit, smart repartees, 
and the talent of concealing his principles under decent 
forms, gained him proselytes and admirers, and procured 
for him a subsistence more pleasing than honourable. A 
noble character and real merit gain the esteem of minds 
that possess the least degree of courage. Aristippus 
heard of the captivity of Socrates with sentiments 
of grief; but as he was then at Egura, and felt that 
he could not deliver this great man from the rage 
of tyrants, he wished to avoid the melancholy but 
august spectacle of his last moments. He only sought 
for what was agreeable in friendship, and avoided the 
vexations and affections of it. His friends might de- 
pend upon him in prosperity, but could not expect to 
iind in him a comforter in misfortune : he had quarrelled 
with Eschines, who was also a disciple of Socrates, and 
who had behaved ill to Aristippus. He felt that an inti- 
macy with him was necessary to his happiness, and made 
the first advances to regain his affection. His abode at 
Syracuse did more injury to his reputation than his taste 
for pleasure. He in vain attempted to justify his con- 
duct towards Dionysins, by pretending that the tone of 
censure and reprimand succeeds badly with princes ; 


that haughty truths displease them ; that lessons con- 
veyed in a respectful manner, soften and correct them. 
His counsels, if he gave any, were unsuccessful, and are 
sunk in oblivion, while his servile complaisance, and the 
affronts lie received, which he tempered by low plea- 
santry, give testimony against his memory. " I come," 
said he, on his arrival at the tyrant's court, " to barter 
my learning for your favours." Dion} T sius appeared to 
accept these conditions with pleasure. His court was 
then filled with rigorous philosophers, but these censors 
soon became odious, and the flattering Aristippus was 
successful. He gave even to those actions which might 
do honour to him, a character of meanness which tar- 
nished their merit. He one day solicited the prince in 
favour of one of his friends : as he appeared deaf to his 
application, the philosopher humbly fell on his knees. 
" is it my fault," said he, to those who blamed him for 
doing so, " if this man has his ears in his feet." Diony- 
sius orfered a recompense to Plato, who refused it; at 
the same moment he gave a denial to an earnest request 
made by Aristippus, upon which the latter said, " the 
king will not ruin himself; he will only give to those 
who will receive nothing, and shuts his hand to those who 
solicit his bounty." He endeavoured to justify his love for 
good cheer, women, and wine, by saying, " that he 
derived all his tastes from nature, but was not the 
slave of them, and that if he preferred a purple cloak to a 
woollen robe, he knew how to wear the one as well as the 
other." He excused his avidity for money, by the facility 
with which he spent it. Someone being astonished at 
his giving sixty drachmas for a partridge, " Would you 
not have given an obole for it," said he ? " well then, 
these sixty drachmas are no more to me than an obole is 
to vou." 


He had collected a considerable sum for a journey into 
Lybia. It being troublesome to his slave, he. onjered him 
to ease himself of his burthen, by throwing it on the 
road. He took a pleasure in setting the censurers of his 
conduct at variance with their maxims. One day Polix- 
enes reproved him with some acrimony, for the luxury of 
his table; Aristippus invited him to supper, and became 
satisfied, that the surest way to silence those who con- 
demn our pleasures, is to make them partakers in them. 
Dionysius shewed him three beautiful courtezans, and 
desired him to chuse which of them he pleased. He took 
all the three, saying, f it had cost Paris too dear for 
having given a preference to one of the goddesses." This 
was a happy application of the fable; but by a virtuous 
caprice, he sent them all three home again. He was 
accustomed to say, " that it was better to be poor than 
ignorant, because a little money was sufficient to relieve 
the poor, but the ignorant required great efforts to civi- 
lize them/' He was the first philosopher who took pay- 
ment for his lessons. He asked fifty drachmas from a 
father for instructing his son. " With this sum" said the 
father, " / could 'purchase a slave." " Buy him then" 
said the philosopher, " and you will have two" He only 
considered an intercourse with women so far as it related 
to voluptuousness, and kept his heart free amidst the in- 
toxication of his senses. " I possess Lais," said he, 
" but Lai's does not possess me." He excused his fond- 
ness for good living, by saying, u that if it were blameable 
they would not make such great feasts on the festivals of 
the gods." 

This philosopher, who flourished four hundred years 
before Christ, died in returning from the court of Syra- 
cuse to Cyrene. His works have not reached us. It 

ARISTIPPUS. [>reece. 

does not appear that the ancients held them in much 
estimation. It was a maxim with him, that the sage 
ought to do every thing for himself. Such a sage does 
but reduce the most despicable egotism to a system. 
Epicurus made voluptuousness to consist in the sleep of 
the passions ; Aristippus, in the satisfaction which agree- 
able sensations procure. He saw nothing in the world 
real or interesting, but his own existence. Horace some- 
times yields homage to his philosophy. In his epistle 
to Maecenas, he says, " Sometimes active and vigilant, 
I plunge myself into the whirlpool of business ; some- 
times a rigid partizan of virtue, I try to govern events, 
instead of suffering myself to be governed by them ; 
sometimes, also, I enter, as it were by stealth, the school 
of Aristippus," 



It is a misfortune for a writer to have employed his 
talents in the service of factions which only interest us 
while they exist ; to have calumniated illustrious charac- 
ters, for whom we always feel; and to have ridiculed 
morality, which can never fail to command respect. The 
writings which political prejudices give birth to, the 
objects of controversy and enthusiasm, in proportion as 
they are obnoxious to one party, or promote the benefit 
of another, whatever may be their merit, are but enigmas 
of a more distant date. It is therefore impossible for u< 
to point out the allegorical personages of Aristophanes. 
How shall we be able to discover in the comedy of the 
Birds, in that of Peace, and in that of the Knights, what 
afforded so much pleasure to the Athenians ? The repu- 
tation of Socrates directs our curiosity to the piece in 
which he attempted to degrade this extraordinary man ; 
in the perusal of which Aristophanes forfeits our esteem. 
The character of impiety, so manifest in his Plutus, in- 
duces us to consult him in order to judge of the degree 
of liberty enjoyed by the Greeks in religious matters ; 
but, after one reading, we throw aside the greater part 
of the comedies of a writer who does not find a com- 
mentator in the history of the human heart, but in that 
of the troubles and dissentions of his republic. 

It must, however, be admitted, that Aristophanes is 
eminent for wit, for vivacity, and invention ; that his 
dialogue is rapid ; that he adroitly delineates the caprice, 


the inconstancy, the instability of the people of Athens; 
that his demagogues deceive and amuse, like the irra- 
tionality of old age. The part he makes Cleon, an Athe- 
nian general, perform, proves that the magistrates were 
held in little awe by the poets ; and that their power 
might be attacked with impunity. The elegance of his 
style is truly attic ; and on this account it is said, that 
St. John Chrisostemus had always a volume of Aristo- 
phanes near his bed. He is one of the ancients whom 
the moderns have the least imitated, and for this simple 
reason, — he is a painter whose pictures fail of resem- 
blance when the originals are removed from the view. 
Racine acknowledges that he is indebted to the Wasps of 
Aristophanes for his comedy of the Plaideurs; but he has 
only taken from the Greek author the idea of the piece. 
In many respects the English drama bears a greater simi- 
larity to the comedies of Aristophanes than that of the 

The history of this celebrated poet presents nothing 
interesting. He lived in the age of Socrates, Demos- 
thenes, and Euripides, about 434 years before J. C. 

Ranted ij , 

' ' 


As painter, sculptor, and architect, Michael Angelo 
holds the most distinguished rank, among the votaries 
of the arts. Endued with a genius almost supernatural, 
he is justly regarded as the first of modern sculptors. 
As an architect, he also stands unrivalled, and, if Raphael 
disputes with him the palm of excellence in painting, it 
arises solely from the circumstance of that great artist 
possessing, in a pre-eminent degree, the quality of grace, 
as Michael Angelo carried to the highest pitch of per- 
fection, correctness of design, and grandeur of con- 

Michael Angelo Buonarotti was born at Cartel Caprese, 
in Tuscany, in the year 1474. He displayed, from his 
infancy, an extraordinary passion for drawing; but his 
father, notwithstanding the mediocrity of his fortune, 
employed every means to dissuade him from following a 
profession, unworthy, as he thought, of the dignity of 
his house. The perseverance of Angelo surmounting 
these obstacles, he became the pupil of Ghirlandaio, a 
Florentine painter, of considerable reputation, but 
whose principal glory is that of having given the first 
lessons to so illustrious a disciple. The progress of M. 
Angelo was so rapid, that he attracted the attention of 
the Grand Duke Lorenzo de Medicis, who received him 
into his palace, and gave him a considerable pension, to 
prosecute his studies. After the death of his patron, 
M. Angelo, whose first productions were in sculpture, 

MICHAEL ANGELO. [tuscany. 

visited the schools of Venice, Bologna, and Rome, and 
left, in each city, where his fame was already acknow- 
ledged, those proofs of talents which have secured his 
celebrity. On his return to Florence, he produced 
several statues, and designed the celebrated Cartoon of 
Pisa, begun in competition with Leonardo da Vinci, 
for the great saloon of the public palace. This was 
finished at intervals, but prevented from being executed 
in fresco, by the turbulence of the times. Following 
the peremptory command of Julio IT. M. Angelo pro- 
ceeded to paint the series of frescoes which occupy the 
cieling and the arches of the Sixtine Chapel. This im- 
mortal work he completed in the short period of twenty 
months. Our limits will not permit us detail the nu- 
merous labours executed by M. Angelo at Florence and 
Rome, during the pontificates of Leo X. and of Adrian 
VI. and Clement VII. his successors. At the instance 
of Paul TIL he produced his immense composition of 
the " Last Judgment," which he accomplished in seven 
years. His last public labour was in the chapel Paulina, 
built by Antonio da Sangallo: the subjects which he 
chose may be considered as the languid remains of his 
power, and the dotage of his genius. 

But the genius of M. Angelo was not confined to the 
art in which he so pre-eminently excelled. He pos- 
sessed considerable information, and was no indifferent 
poet. He led a life of celibacy, and was distinguished 
for the regularity of his manners. Such was the respect 
paid to his surprizing talents, that Cosmo de Medicis 
always addressed him uncovered, and several Popes 
caused him to be seated in their presence. He died at 
Rome, in 1564, at the age of 90, worn out by infirmity 
and fatigue. 

' ~ . .- I 


Sylvain Bailly was born at Paris, in the year 1736. 
His father, keeper of the king's pictures, was, at the same 
time, a painter and a poet, and left behind him several 
dramatic pieces. He carried his paternal fondness so 
far, as to restrain his son from any serious study, who 
was indebted to a casual acquaintance for his knowledge 
of the sciences which he cultivated with so much success. 
A person well informed in the mathematics, taught him 
the first elements of that science, in exchange for certain 
lessons of drawing, which the father of Bailly gave to his 
son. The meeting with the Abbe de la Caille, who had 
just manifested by an arduous voyage, his zeal for the 
sciences, turned the studies of young Bailly to that of 
astronomy. Instructed by the lessons of this learned 
observer, of whom he had become the friend, he soon 
distinguished himself by his memoirs, and by other works 
on different objects of science, to which he had applied 
himself, and received, in consequence, his admission 
into the academy of sciences, in the year 1763. Twelve 
years afterwards he published his History of Astronomy, 
Ancient and Modern, which he ornamented with all the 
graces of style, and in which are equally apparent the 
researches of the philosopher, and the talent of the man 
of letters : two species of merit which are seldom united 
in the same work. 

The History of Indian and Eastern Astronomy, which 
appeared some years afterwards, met with the like sue- 


cess. This latter work has been preceded by his Lettres 
surF At I antique, in which, after establishing a new system as 
to the origin of the sciences and the arts, the author attri- 
butes their first invention to a people, who, in his opinion, 
inhabited the North East of Upper Tartary, and who have 
been destroyed by some of those terrible revolutions of 
which the history of the world furnishes so many exam- 
ples. Without entering into the discussion of the degree 
of probability of this assertion, which takes from the 
East the glory of having been the cradle of human discove- 
ries, we cannot avoid admiring in this work the ingenious 
manner he employs to present ideas absolutely new, and the 
peculiar elegance of his style. This latter quality, no less 
remarkable in several other productions, purely literary, 
which Bailly presented to the public, opened to him the 
doors of the French academy in 1784. The erudition dis- 
played in this great work, caused him to be received the 
following year into the academy of Inscriptions. 

Admitted into the three learned societies, an honour 
which, until then, Fontenelle had only enjoyed ; Bailly 
cultivated quietly literature and the sciences, by which 
he Obtained a brilliant reputation, and an honourable 
existence : but some fatal circumstances raised in his 
mind the hope of a new species of glory, by which he 
had the misfortune to suffer himself to be seduced. A 
Memoir upo?i Hospitals, in which he displayed consider- 
able judgment, and an ardent zeal for the public good, 
had conciliated to the author the esteem and the favour 
of the populace, when, ia 1789, the election commenced 
throughout the several departments in France, of Depu- 
ties to the general states. Bailly, nominated by the 
third estate of Paris, was elected, with general acclama- 
tions, president of the chamber of the third estate. He 


took his seat in that capacity, on the 20th of June, in 
the famous sitting dujeu depaume, when the three orders, 
being united, were proclaimed the National Assembly. 

Nominated Mayor of Paris/from the beginning of the 
troubles, he filled for somewhat more than two years that 
dangerous office. The judgment which may be formed 
of his conduct, in the exercise of these functions, still 
depends on political opinions, of which the conflict was 
then so violent, that it would have been impossible for a 
man in place to prove himself impartial. Bailiy visibly 
inclined towards the revolution, to which he was indebted 
for the authority he possessed. The transient enjoy- 
ments which the popular favour procured him, were suc- 
ceeded by fatal results. Having made himself the in- 
strument of a faction, he beheld in a manner his literary 
glory obscured hy the ridicule which was thrown upon him 
by the royalist party, and became, in the end, the object 
of the hatred of that faction whose cause he had espoused, 
because, instead of approving their excesses, he endea- 
voured to repress them. In 1791, he resigned his office, 
and retired to Melun, where he led a solitary and private 

Summoned two years after by the revolutionary tribunal 
to assist as a witness in the trial of the queen, he did justice 
to the character of that unfortunate princess, and openly 
declared that the crimes of which she was accused, were 
without foundation. This commendable and intrepid act 
excited the animosity of his enemies. A few days after- 
wards, Bailiy was arrested, brougbt before the tribu- 
nal, and condemned to suffer death. The barbarity with 
which his murderers prolonged his march to the scaffold, 
the indignities he received from the populace, of which 


but four years before he had been the idol, only tended 
to exhibit his courage and resignation. They excited the 
indignation and the pity of those who had differed from 
him iu opinion, and recalled to memory the numerous 
titles of the ill-fated Bailly* as a man of science and of 
letters, to general esteem, and to the homage of posterity. 

He perished on the 12th of November, 1793, at the 
age of 57. 

: ..;.:_- 




This monster, the successor of Caligula, Nero, and 
Domitian, was the son of Septimius Severus. He was 
born at Lyons, on the 4th of April, 1 88. He was nomi- 
nated Caesar, at the age of nine, by his father, who gave 
him the surnames of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Like 
Nero, he for a time, concealed his depravity, and ap- 
peared mild and humane. But his character soon de- 
veloped itself. Impatient to hold the reins of go- 
vernment, he attempted his father's life. Severus said to 
him in the evening, in the presence of Papinian, one of 
the most celebrated of the Roman lawyers, and in 
whom he greatly confided, " Now kill me, there are only 
two witnesses." Caracalla, humbled, but not repentant, 
beheld, at length, his wishes accomplished in the year 211. 

By the death of his father, he ascended the throne ; 
but his brother Geta being appointed his colleague, he 
considered him as an enemy. Resolved upon his destruc- 
tion, Caracalla caused him to be assassinated in his pre- 
sence, in the arms even of their mother Julia, who was co- 
vered with his blood. Geta appears to have foreseen his 
fate, some years before the fatal occurrence. Perceiving 
that Caracalla excited Severus to acts of inhumanity to- 
wards his prisoners ; Geta said to him, " Some day you 
will kill your brother !" Caracalla, to appease the popu- 
lar clamour, augmented the pay of his soldiers, pre- 
tended that Geta had meditated his ruin, and, at last, 
ranked him among the gods. He was desirous even that 


CARACALLA. [italy. 

Papinian should deliver an apology for this murder; but 
the upright civilian, so far from imitating the weakness 
of Seneca under similar circumstances, exclaimed, " It 
is much easier to commit a crime so atrocious, than to 
excuse it." This intrepid reply was the sentence of his 

Caracalla, now become master of the empire, soon ma- 
nifested himself unworthy of his new dignity. He be- 
gan by marching a considerable force into Gaul, which 
he treated as an enemy's country, rather than as an allied 
and submissive province. The Germans armed against 
him, and compelled him to make a disgraceful peace. 

The people of Alexandria having uttered some sar- 
casms on the murder of Geta, he entered it with his army, 
and put all the inhabitants to the sword. In the year 217, 
he was slain at Edessa, by one of his guards. He had 
reigned six years. The senate and the people exulted 
in their deliverance, and loaded his memory with their 

Painced ty SapTzael . 

f-snucm -Ribi.L.j^:. 


Balthazar, or Baldassahe, Castiglione, was 
born at Casatico, in the duchy of Mantua, on the sixth 
of December, 1478. His father was of distinguished 
birth, and his mother descended from the illustrious 
house of Gonzaga. He attached himself, at an early 
period, to occupations that appeared but little compa- 
tible. He was desirous, at the same time, to be thought 
a courtier, an author, a soldier, and a politician; and 
his success justified his assurance. Sent, by Duke Ur- 
boni, upon an embassy, to Henry VIII. king of England, 
he had the good fortune to render himself pleasing to that 
ferocious monarch, and was invested by him with the 
order of the Garter. Julius II. Leo X. Louis XIL 
Charles V. and Clement VII. gave him, alternately, 
proofs of their friendship and esteem. Leo X. conceived 
the idea of decorating him with a cardinal's hat. Cle- 
ment VII. appointed him his plenipotentiary to the 
court of Charles V. He was afterwards named, by the 
emperor, Bishop of Avila. Charles had, previously, placed 
unlimited confidence in Castiglione, by declaring that he 
should have chosen him for his second, had his duel with 
Francis f. taken place. It maybe, however, doubted, 
whether this fortunate adversary of the king of France 
had seriously formed the intention of fighting him en 
champ clos; but this anecdote proves, at least, that Cas- 
tiglione had acquired considerable reputation in the use 
of arms. 



Before he entered into orders, Castiglione had married 
Hippolyta Torella, so celebrated for her beauty and po- 
litical talents. This union, was, in the highest degree, 
happy, — but it was dissolved, after four years, by the 
death of Torella. The affliction which Castiglione ex- 
perienced at this calamity, did not a little contribute to 
make him embrace the ecclesiastical profession. 

Castiglione has left behind him several poetical pieces, 
both in Italian and Latin, which were greatly applauded 
on their appearance. We must not entirely subscribe 
to the judgment of Scaliger, who, no less extravagant 
in his encomiums than in his criticism, affirms that Cas- 
tiglione combined the vigour of Lucan with the purity of 
Virgil; but we cannot avoid being charmed at the noble 
and delicate turn he has given to his thoughts. In 
short, lie was one of the good poets who did honour to 
the commencement of the XVIth. century, when the 
Italian muses shone with peculiar lustre. 

Castiglione has written, in prose, the Cortegiano, which 
the Italians called a golden book. Had the author been 
only known by this character of his production, we might 
easily conceive that he was fully capable of treating such 
a subject. The work exhibits a series of deep and re- 
lined conceptions, expressed with uncommon elegance 
and precision. Castiglione died at Toledo, in the year 
I5Q9> at the age of 51. 

L£ -^-^? 


- ' 


Marcus Porcius Cato, great grandson of Cato the 
Censor, was born in the year 660 of Rome, and from 
his childhood gave tokens of that inflexibility of charac- 
ter which afterwards distinguished him. He applied him- 
self principally to the study of the Stoic Philosophy, but 
neither neglected eloquence, which he considered as use- 
ful in public affairs, nor the exercises of the body, to 
enable him to bear the fatigues of war. An admirer of 
ancient manners, he sought to restore them by his exam- 
ple, and only used his riches, which were considerable, 
to render services to his friends. His affection for his 
brother was excessive, and, in spite of that stoicism 
which he professed, he carried to excess the grief he felt 
for his death. 

Cato, appointed qusestor, re-established order in the 
public finances, and compelled the assassins, whom Sylla 
had employed in his proscriptions, to restore the sums 
they had received from him, and even caused some of 
them to be condemned to death. He joined with Cicero, 
at the time of Cataline's conspiracy, strongly opposed 
Caesar, who wished to save the conspirators, and decided 
their punishment. Cato, burning with the purest zeal 
for his country, and incessantly on guard against the 
ambition of those who sought to oppress it, upheld, for a 
time, the expiring laws and liberty. Inaccessible to fear 
and hope, he rejected an alliance with Pompey, saying, 



that Cato would neve? give hostages against his country. 
He ventured singly to oppose Caesar, when he proposed 
the Agrarian law : on this occasion Cato was dragged 
from the tribune, and thrown into prison; but he was 
immovable, and Caesar, ashamed of his own violence, 
gave orders for his release. In order to get rid of Cato, 
Caesar andClodius caused him to be chosen for the re-es- 
tablishment of those who were banished at Byzantium, and 
to take possession of the Isle of Cyprus, which had beerr 
confiscated from Ptolomy Lathyrus, who died in the mean 
time. Cato took as much care to collect the treasures of 
this prince, as if his probity had been suspected. He 
would trust no one but himself to convey them to Rome, 
and refused the honours which were decreed to him on 
this occasion. 

Meantime the triumvirate had been formed between 
Caesar, Pom pey, and Crassus. Cato solicited the praetor- 
ship, in order to oppose their designs. He was excluded 
by their intrigues, and a second time torn from the tri- 
bune, and dragged by the lictors to the prison gates. 
He was, however, appointed praetor the following year, 
and caused a law to be made against bribery. This law 
discontented the people, whom it deprived of receiving 
the liberality of the candidates, and Cato was insulted 
even on his tribunal. A year afterwards, compelled by 
circumstances, and convinced that any government 
whatever is better than anarch}', he consented that Pom- 
pey should preside at the elections, and even be named 
sole consul, and did not refuse him his advice. He soli- 
cited the consulship for himself, with an intention of re- 
storing to the senate and the people the authority they had 
lost; but the people fearing his severity, preferred his 
competitors to him. Cato appeared not in the least 

home.] CATO. 

affected ; he, however, refused the entreaties of Cicero, 

who pressed him again to become a candidate. 

A little while after, Caesar marched against Rome : on 
hearing this news, Cato, who for a long time had sus- 
pected his projects, and had unmasked them to the senate 
and to Pompey, was of opinion that the whole authority 
should be vested in the hands of the latter, and followed 
him when he forsook the city. Pie was then, perhaps, 
the only man among the Romans who remained attached 
to the republic, and the foresight of the evils which a 
civil war would occasion, plunged him into the deepest 
melancholy. Intrusted by Pompey with the defence of 
Dyrrachium, he was not at the battle of Pharsalia. After 
the defeat of that general, he embarked to meet him in 
Egypt; and, on the news of his death, he crossed the 
sands of Lybia to the court of Jnba, king of Numidia, 
where Metellus, Scipio, and Varus disputed with each 
other who should command. Cato terminated the dis- 
pute, by placing himself under the orders of Scipio, and 
supported the dignity of the Roman name at the court 
of Juba. He saved the inhabitants of Utica, whorn it 
was determined to destroy as the partisans of Caesar, and 
■shut himself up in that city. It was not long before he 
repented of having yielded up the command to Scipio, 
who having despised his advice, was defeated at Thapsus, 
and Caesar marched against Utica. Cato at first intended 
to defend it, but found no one who was willing to second 
him. Determined therefore to die, he used all his exertions 
to secure the retreat of the senators who had accompa- 
nied him. He exhorted the inhabitants of Utica to save 
their city, by a prompt submission, but he forbad them 
to mention him to Caesar. He ate his supper with great 
tranquillity, and sought to divert his friends from having 


any idea of his intentions, gave his orders, and sat down 
on his bed to read Plato's book on the Immortality of the 
Soul. Surprised at not finding his sword at the head of 
his bed, he violently called for it, and was enraged at his 
son for having caused it to be taken away, and accused 
him of a design to give him up disarmed to Caesar. His 
sword was brought to him ; he examined its point, and 
said, I am now my own master. He then a second time 
read Plato's treatise, and fell into a sound sleep. Near 
the dawn of day, after having been assured that all those 
for whom he interested himself were safe, he stabbed 
himself with his sword, but without being able to kill 
himself. His son and his friends, on hearing a noise, 
immediately came to him ; and a physician, one of his 
freed men, endeavoured to dress the wound, but Cato 
recovering his senses, tore his wound open, and expired 
at the age of forty-eight. Caesar lamented that Cato 
envied him the glory of saving his life, and pardoned his 



Proud of an origin which flattery derived from the 
gods, and conscious of his own superior powers, C. Julius 
Caesar, even from his earliest years, had aspired to the 
eminent station which he afterwards attained. Seized 
with the fever of ambition, at an age when most men 
have no pursuit but that of pleasure and dissipation, he 
endeavoured to disguise it under the appearance of indo- 
lence. But this conduct could not escape the penetration 
of Sylla, who, unmoved by the consideration of his tender 
years, ordered him to be included in the proscription which 
he was then meditating. He was saved, however, by the 
earnest entreaties of his friends: but Sylla, in yielding to 
their importunities, blamed them for sparing one who 
would one day destroy them, and predicted, that " in that 
boy, there would be found more than one Marius." At 
other times he would say, " distrust that youth, whose 
loosened band seems to betray so much carelessness and 
sloth ; he is not what he would appear to be." It is true 
that Caesar, even when his life was considered most in 
danger, had resolutely refused to repudiate his wife Cor- 
nelia, the daughter of Sylla. The same firmness was con- 
spicuous upon other occasions, when his native vigour 
broke through the restraints which his policy had im- 
posed. At length the death of Sylla opened the promised 
career to his ambition. He soon attained the highest 
popularity, by his liberal benefactions, and his constant 
protection of those who sought his favour. Apparently 
occupied by the interests of others, he seemed to neglect 


CiESAR. [rome. 

his own, and never lost an opportunity of obliging his 
connections or friends. 

The death of Julia, his aunt, and the widow of Marius, 
determined him to attempt the revival of a faction which 
the authority of Sylla had suppressed. He ventured to 
restore the statues of Marius, decorated with all the tro- 
phies of victory, and silenced all the opposition of the 
senate, by openly defending this conduct. The following 
year he contended for and obtained the dignity of sove- 
reign pontiff, while, at the same time, he exerted all his 
eloquence to defend the wild projects of Catiline and his 
confederates. The artful manner of his address to the 
senate, as it may be seen in Sallust, cannot however ac- 
quit him of the serious charge of having been one among 
that iniquitous confederacy. 

But the popularity he had gained was purchased by so 
much profusion and extravagance, that his patrimony 
was consumed, and, when he was appointed Praetor in 
Spain, his creditors would have prevented his departure, 
had not the friendship of Crass us interposed to effect his 
deliverance. He had been in that province before, and 
it was there that he wept on beholding the statue of Alex- 
ander, at the reflection that he had performed no me- 
morable action at an age when the Macedonian hero had 
already subdued the Persian empire. On his return from 
Spain, he rejected the honour of a triumph to which he 
had sufficient claims, that he might be at full liberty to 
become a candidate for the consulship. 

When he obtained that high dignity, he strengthened 
hrs party by forming an alliance with Pompey, on whom 
he bestowed his daughter in marriage, and conciliated 


the favour of the people, by proposing a new, and more 
equal partition of lands, which he effected, notwithstand- 
ing the opposition of Cato, the senate, and even his col- 
league Bibulus, whom he compelled to resign; and thus 
secured the whole consular power to himself. 

When his year had expired, he conferred upon himself 
the government of Gaul. It was then that he began to 
display those eminent qualities, which, by the universal 
suffrage of posterity, have placed him in the first rank of 
military commanders. Intrepid and indefatigable in the 
midst of every danger, quick in seizing every favourable 
opportunity that presented, and equally skilful in repair- 
ing his losses, he animated his troops by his example, and 
secured their affection by his unbounded liberality. He 
was nine years employed in the subjugation of the Gallic 
provinces; but, during that long period, he was by no 
means unmindful of the various divisions which at that 
time agitated Rome. 

The death of Julia, his daughter, and the wife of Pom- 
pey, dissolved the ties which had hitherto united those 
eminent men, whom every thing conspired to render 
rivals to each other. When Gaul had at length submitted 
to the Roman yoke, the senate, guided by the jealous 
advice of Pompey, passed a decree, by which Caesar was 
enjoined to disband his army, under pain of being declared 
an enemy of the republic, in case of refusal. But Caesar 
foresaw the danger of returning to Rome, without a suf- 
ficient escort; and, though he permitted two of his legions 
to obey the order, he himself marched towards Italy at 
the head of a third. When he approached the borders 
of the Rubicon, which formed the southern limit of his 

CJESAR. [rome. 

government, he appeared to hesitate a moment — but at 
length he exclaimed, " The die is cast !" and the civil 
war began. 

Pompey, disconcerted by this sudden and unforeseen 
movement of his rival, immediately quitted Rome, and, 
followed by the senate, retired to Brundusium, whence 
he embarked for Greece. 

The conduct of Caesar, at first, was moderate and dig- 
nified: he seemed desirous of conciliating the public 
opinion ; he repeatedly proposed terms of accommodation, 
though he neglected nothing that could secure his power, 
by emptying the towns of their garrisons, and uniting 
them to his army. But from this moderation he appeared 
to depart, when he seized upon the public treasury, not- 
withstanding the courageous opposition of Metellus. 
His lieutenants also took possession of Sicily and Sar- 
dinia, the fruitful provinces of Rome. At length, safe 
on the side of Italy, he marched into Spain, where the 
lieutenants of Pompey had assembled a formidable army. 
They at first appeared to obtain some advantages over 
him ; but those partial successes only served to augment 
the glory of a campaign, which has been the admiration 
of every age, and would alone have secured him the first 
rank among illustrious generals. Careful of the lives of 
his men, he studiously avoided an engagement; by the 
most skilful manoeuvres, he twice surrounded the enemy's 
camp, and liberated an army, which, by the laws of war, 
he might have destroyed. On his return towards Rome, 
he took Marseilles, which had refused to open its gates : 
he contented himself with seizing the treasury of that 
city, and the vessels in its harbour. In his absence, he 


had been created dictator, and, on his return, he recalled 
all the exiles, and restored to their rights the children 
of those who had been proscribed. 

Pompey, meanwhile, had had sufficient leisure to re- 
unite his partizans, and to assemble his forces; and Caesar 
departed for Greece, there to dispute, with his rival, the 
empire of the world. From the want of transports, he 
could only embark one part of his army, while the other 
was detained at Brundusium, by the fleet of his enemy. 
To hasten its departure, he trusted himself, unaccom- 
panied and disguised, in an open boat, during a tem- 
pestuous sea. His magnanimous saying to the terrified 
pilot, is proverbially known. 

It was in the year of Rome 704, 48 years B. C. that 
he gained the battle of Pharsalia, a victory for ever me- 
morable, by the magnitude of its stake, and its important 
results. The vanquished Pompey fled in despair, and the 
remains of his party were soon subdued. But Caesar dis- 
dained to follow the example of Marius and Sylla; his 
humanity and clemency were as conspicuous as his valour 
and good conduct. As he contemplated, with sorrow, 
the field of battle, which was strewed with the bodies of 
his countrymen, he exclaimed, " Alas, they would have 
it so!" — Eager to pursue Pompey, he passed the Helles- 
pont, and the terror of his name every where preceded 
him : at Alexandria, he wept over the bleeding head of 
his unhappy rival. In the arms of Cleopatra he appeared, 
for a while, to forget his character and fame ; but he was 
soon roused, by the danger of another war, in which his 
talents and good fortune were again conspicuous. After 
the conquest of Egypt, his appearance alone, at the head 

CiESAR. [rome. 

of his army, was sufficient to humble Pharnaces, king of 
Pontus, and to subdue the whole of Asia. 

Africa was the last retreat of his enemies, and thither 
too he went; conquered at Tapsus, and added Numidia 
to the other provinces of Rome. On his return to Rome, 
he had the glory of triumphing over Gaul, Egypt, Phar- 
naces, and Juba. 

Notwithstanding such amazing successes, he yet me- 
ditated still greater projects. But neither his great qua- 
lities, his liberality, nor his clemency, could conciliate 
the hearts of those whom he had depressed. Blinded by 
prosperity, and seduced by the egregious flattery of the 
senate, the titles of Imperator, of perpetual dictator, and 
the privilege of wearing a crown of laurels, could not 
satisfy his vast ambition. The attempts he made to have 
the honours of royalty conferred upon him, at length 
revived the dormant spirit of liberty. Cassius was the 
first who formed the design of assassinating him: Brutus, 
whose mother had been so connected with Caesar as to 
make it generally supposed that he was the fruit of 
that illicit commerce, claimed the unnatural honour of 
directing the conspiracy against his benefactor; and 
Csesar, pierced by three and twenty wounds, fell lifeless 
before the statue of Pompey. 

Thus fell this extraordinary man, at the age of 56, at 
a time when he was preparing an expedition against the 
Parthians, in order to avenge the defeat of Crassus. His 
most important work was the reformation of the Roman 
calendar, in which, till then, the greatest confusion had 




M. Tullius Ciceiio was born at Arpinum, now Ar* 
pino, a small town in the kingdom of Naples, in the year 
of Rome 648, and the Il6th B. C. Many disputations 
have been written upon his origin, with the view to ren- 
der it illustrious. Much has been said of the prodigies 
which announced and accompanied his birth ; but these 
exaggerations are ridiculous — at all events, useless. In 
the eye of posterity, Cicero is the first of his name and 
family, and his history contains little that is uncommon, 
except the talents which he received from nature. When 
taken in very early youth to Rome, for the purpose of 
study, he soon displayed the most extraordinary industry 
and facility of conception. His fellow-disciples, con- 
vinced, but not jealous, of his superiority, were proud 
to exhibit him in public, and frequently escorted him in 
the streets, by way of honour. Their parents themselves 
were anxious to behold a child whose intellect appeared 
to promise such happy results. When his preparatory 
studies were completed, he applied himself with equal 
diligence and success to philosophy, to eloquence, and 
jurisprudence. One of the freed-men of Sylla, having 
obtained,, at a low and inadequate price, the estate of 
Roscius, who had been proscribed, the son of the latter 
boldly protested against the fraudulent acquisition. Sylla, 
in revenge, ordered him to be tried, as the supposed 
murderer of his father. Cicero undertook his defence, 
and procured his acquittal: thus the first cause in which 
he was engaged, at once displayed his talents, his cou- 


rage, and his humanity. He thought it prudent, however, 
to avoid the resentment of the all-powerful dictator; and 
retired to Athens. During two } r ears residence there, 
he assiduously cultivated the society of the learned, phi- 
losophers, and orators: he even penetrated into Asia, in 
the pursuit of knowledge. Apollonius Molo, a celebrated 
orator, of Rhodes, who was ignorant of the language of 
Rome, requested him to deliver a declamation in Greek — * 
this was a name usually given to the speeches made in ima- 
ginary causes, by the young men who were preparing for 
the bar. When Cicero had finished his argument, those 
who were present paid him the highest compliments; 
Apollonius alone remained silent and pensive. When 
Cicero demanded the reason, he replied* " I give thee 
every praise, nay more, thou hast excited my admiration; 
but, I cannot help lamenting the peculiar fate of un- 
happy Greece. Learning and eloquence were all that 
remained of our former glory; these thou hast also con- 
quered, and they are henceforth to honour the Romans/' 

Upon the death of Sylla, Cicero returned to Rome, 
where, at first, he did not attain any high reputation; 
he was distinguished only by the name of The Greek, or, 
The Scholar; but, when he began to plead causes, he 
soon acquired the highest pitch of celebrity and renown. 
He was chosen quaestor, and obtained the government 
of Sicily, genei'ally called the Granary of Italy, at a time 
when Rome was distressed for corn. He sent the ne- 
cessary supplies, but without injuring his province, 
which he governed with justice and kindness. He was 
next appointed iEdile. Verres, who had preceded him 
in the government of Sicily, had exhausted that pro- 
vince by his enormous exactions. The Sicilians accused 
him, but he had bribed the judges who were to try the 


cause, and, by considerable presents, bad engaged the 
celebrated Hortensius to plead in his defence. Cicero, 
however, determined to overcome the eloquence of Hor- 
tensius, and the gold of Verres, and he succeeded ; the 
latter was condemned by the very tribunal which he had 
attempted to corrupt. So great a triumph confirmed 
the reputation of Cicero, and raised him to the highest 
honours. He was nominated one of the praetors of the 
city, and, at length, became consul with Antonius Nepos. 
It was then he had the glory of saving his country. 
Catiline had meditated its ruin; and, with other Patri- 
cians, as dissolute as himself, had conspired to extirpate 
the senate, plunder the treasury, and set Rome on fire. 
The conspiracy was on the eve of explosion, when Cati- 
line, for the last time, attended the senate, to number 
out his victims. But Cicero had detected the impious 
scheme, and accused him, in open senate. The con- 
spirator, thus surprised, fled precipitately from Rome: 
his accomplices were seized and executed, and himself 
soon after slain, whilst bravely fighting against the troops 
which the consul had detached against him. The orate- 
ful people bestowed on him the titles of Father of his 
Country, and Second Founder of Rome. When his year 
had expired, instead of giving, as was customary, a long 
account of his administration, he merely said, * I swear 
that I have preserved my country." The vehemence 
with which he had attacked Clodius, proved afterwards 
injurious to him; and, when his enemy was made tri- 
bune, he procured a decree, which sentenced Cicero to 
be banished, and his houses to be burnt to the ground. 
His disposition, which was never sufficiently steady and 
equable, could not endure so sudden a reverse of fortune; 
he withdrew to Tuessalonica, where he abandoned him- 
self, without reserve, to grief, and almost to despair, J 



After an exile of sixteen months, be was recalled, by 
the unanimous voice of his country. His return was a 
continual triumph—- his houses were rebuilt, at the ex- 
pence of the state, and he soon regained all his former 
influence over the public affairs. He was then sent, as 
pro-consul, to Cilicia, where his integrity and prudence 
made him successful against the Parthians ; and, upon 
his return, he might have enjoyed the honours of a 
public triumph, had not the city, at the time, been the 
prey of internal divisions. Pompey and Caesar divided 
between them the public opinion, and were candidates 
for the supreme power. Cicero fluctuated long between 
these formidable rivals. At length he decided in favour 
of Pompey, in whom he thought he saw designs less 
dangerous to the republic. After the battle of Pharsalia, 
he was reconciled to the conqueror, who received him 
with distinction, and he repaid it by a degree of servile 
adulation, unworthy of his own character. From this 
time, he resided in the country, and seldom visited 
Rome. Upon the death of Caesar, he appeared to fa- 
vour the interest of Octavius, in opposition to Antony, 
whom he disliked. It was against him that he composed 
those celebrated orations, which were called Philippics, 
in imitation of those which Demosthenes had pronounced 
against Philip of Macedon. But Octavius and Antony, 
from bitter enemies, were soon united as friends, and, 
with Lepidus, formed the celebrated alliance, known by 
the name of the Triumvirate. One condition of this 
unnatural confederacy was, that each should be at liberty 
to sacrifice his own enemies. About 200 were thus 
doomed to death, and Cicero was among the number, 
upon the list of Antony, Augustus basely yielded a man 
to whom he partly owed his greatness, and Cicero was pur* 
Sued by jthe emissaries of Antony; and among them was 


Popilius, whom he had defended upon an accusation of 
parricide. He had fled in a litter towards the sea of 
Caieta, whence he intended to embark for Macedonia; 
and, when the assassins came up, he put his head out 
of the litter, and it was severed from the body by 
Herennius. The head and right hand were carried to 
Rome, and hung up in the forum, the scene of his former 
triumphs; and, so inveterate was the hatred which he 
had inspired in the family of Antony, that Fulvia, the 
wife of the triumvir, wreaked her vengeance, by piercing 
the tongue with a gold bodkin; verifying, by this act of 
inhumanity, what the orator had once before observed, 
that no animal is more vindictive than a woman. The 
death of Cicero happened in December, 43 years B. C. 
when he had lived 63 years, 11 months, and 5 days. 

Cicero was certainly the greatest of the Roman orators. 
Whether in the forum or the senate, he pleaded often 
with success, and always with credit to himself, the 
cause of his country, and of individuals. He was also 
the first among the Roman writers, who discussed the 
great questions of morality and philosophy, which had 
so long occupied the attention of the Greeks. His 
learning and talents have been the admiration of every 
succeeding age, and his style has- always been considered 
the true standard of pure latinity. 

His personal character was perhaps not so uniformly 
deserving of applause, as his literary merit. He has 
acquired more fame by his noble compositions, than by 
his spirited exertions, as a Roman senator. His con^- 
duct, during the civil war, was not always that of a pa- 
triot; and, when we see him doubtful and irresolute, 
desirous of following Pompey, and yet afraid of opposing 

CICERO. fitAtrj 

Cassar, the judgment of posterity has almost branded 
him with the name of coward. He was, undoubtedly, a 
man of the strictest integrity, and a sincere lover of his 
country; but his vanity was superior to both. He was 
accustomed to speak in praise of himself without either 
moderation or reserve* This excessive pride, which 
influenced his conversation) made him also guilty of too 
many inconsistencies; in his public conduct. Full of he- 
sitation, and devoid of firmness, he was unable either 
promptly to take his resolutions, or to continue steady 
on the side which he adopted. He was of so timid a 
disposition, that, according to his own confession, this 
consummate master of eloquence never ascended the 
rostrum without a secret emotion of dread. Elated to 
excess in prosperity, he was as easily depressed; and 
passed rapidly from the height of confidence, to the 
lowest pitch of despondency. Always complaining, he 
accused his friends, and the world, of his misfortunes, 
even when they could be attributed only to his own want 
of foresight and vigour. 

But these defects of character were more than coun- 
terbalanced by his private virtues. He was a tender 
parent, a zealous friend, and a kind master. Of his 
conduct, as a husband, we cannot speak with equal cer- 
tainty : all that we know is, that he divorced Terentia, 
his wife, in order to unite himself with a younger, and 
more wealthy bride. 

In a word, whatever were the political errors, and 
characteristic faults of Cicero, he will always be con- 
sidered as one of those men, who, by their extraordinary 
talents, and the noble purposes to which they were ap- 
plied, have done the greatest honour to humanity. 

La r ^WM 





: olished b)> Vernor,^ 


After Voltaire, Montesquieu, J. J. Rousseau, Buffon, 
Helvetius, CondiJlac, Mably, Thomas, Diderot, and 
D'Alembert, the name of Condorcet places itself na- 
turally on the list of writers who reflected honor on the 
eighteenth century. Inferior to many of them with 
respect to the talent for which they are particularly 
characterised, he nearly equals the whole in those rare 
endowments of mind which are common to men of ge- 
nius, and surpasses them in the extent, the variety, and 
the accuracy of his acquirements. If he be then, in the 
order of time, the last of this illustrious race, he is with- 
out doubt not the least remarkable. Condorcet was at 
once a Geometrician, a Philosopher, a Man of Letters, 
a public Writer, and an Economist, in the true sense of 
the word, which indicates a science, and a sect; and 
what particularly distinguished him is, that this com- 
bination of extraordinary resources was constantly di- 
rected to a single object, the amelioration of the lot of 
the human race by the diffusion of knowledge. He is 
indebted perhaps to his friend, the celebrated Turgot, 
for the first idea of the most noble, and the most 
consoling of all the systems of philosophy, of that 
which rests upon the opinion of the most indefinite 
perfection of the human mind : and he really created this 
system, since he first built it upon a solid basis, strength- 
ened it with all the support of experience, and deduced 
from thence certain results. 


CONDORCET. [franc*. 

The love of truth was the most prominent trait in 
his character ; the desire of being serviceable to the cause 
of humanity, the principal motive of all his labours as 
a man of science, and a man of letters. Persuaded 
that the vices and the misfortunes of men are the fruits of 
social institutions, he proposed to himself in some sort to 
examine the whole in their aggregate and in their smal- 
lest details, to shew from thence their baneful tendency, 
and to point out, at the same time, the means of reforming 
them. To fulfil the task he had imposed upon himself, 
it was necessary for him to know, and to attempt every 
thing : no one therefore joined to such a mass of know- 
ledge a mind more eminently just, lively, flexible, exten- 
sive, and profound ; no one took a more comprehensive 
view of the most arduous questions ; and no one, at the 
same time, attacked with greater courage, and under 
more diversity of forms, so many prejudices, combated so 
many errors, and unmasked so many hypocrites and char- 
latans, denounced and pursued so many interests that 
opposed the public good. 

Condorcet was one of the most zealous partizans and 
one of the most illustrious victims of a Revolution, 
which excited at first so many pleasing expectations, and 
terminated in so many disappointments. His conduct 
manifested that he then lost sight of that system of phi- 
losophical tardiness, so much recommended by Turgot ; 
that he forgot what he himself established in his last work, 
that the truths of theory are necessarily modified in prac- 
tice: he wished to overstrain every thing, and contribute 
to destroy every thing. But whether his death suffice or 
not to absolve him in the eyes of posterity from the errors 
of his political existence, his literary life must ever entitle 
him to the warmest eulogiums. 

france.] CONDORCET. 

Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicholas-Caritat de Condorcet was 
bom at Ribemont, in Picardy, on the 17th of September, 
1743. Educated under the eyes of bis uncle, the Bishop 
of Lezieux, he preferred, although far less lucrative, the 
difficult career of the sciences to various professions in 
which his birth would have promised him, at much less 
expence, the most certain advantages. He at first de- 
voted himself, with enthusiasm, to the Mathematics, and 
at the age of 21 published a treatise on Integral Calcula^ 
tions, which opened to him a little afterwards the doors 
of the Academy of the Sciences : this he entered in 1768. 
A bon mot of the geometrician, Fontaine, sufficiently in- 
dicates that the debut of young Condorcet was. uncom- 
monly happy. J'ai cru un moment, said he, qiiil valait 
mienx que moi; fen etuis jaloux, mais il irfa rassurt depuis. 
It is certain that his incidental occupations prevented 
him from carrying into his mathematical researches that 
perseverance and detail, which would now alone secure 
its success. His inclination nevertheless carried him to 
a science, which from his very outset he had enriched 
with important remarks : and if tim,e and patience were 
wanting to give to his Analytical Essays the degree of peiv 
fection which might be expected, he still accomplished 
his principal object, in proving by ingenious applications 
and by evident proofs, that the science of Calculation 
established the certainty of the moral and political sci- 
ences. Such was exclusively the object of his Memoires 
sur le calcul des improbabilitts, and of his work entitled, 
Plan de la Muthematique sociale, 

Condorcet has likewise evinced, that to the sagacity 
and depth of the Geometrician, he united the intelligence 
of the Philosopher, and the talents of the Critic. The 
Eulogies of the Academicians, who died before 1699, 

CONDORCET. [france. 

and in a particular manner the fine eulogium on Pascal, 
announced a successor worthy of Fontenelle. Fonchi, 
who, after Marian, occupied without filling the place of 
that celebrated man, associated with Condorcet in 1773, 
and three years after relinquished to him entirely the func- 
tions of perpetual secretary. Became, in this quality, 
the historian of the sciences, and of those who conse- 
crate their lives in extending their boundary, Condorcet so 
completely answered the expectations excited by his early 
works, that his numerous and excellent eulogies will be 
ever one of the most solid pillars of his reputation. Equal 
and even superior to Fontenelle in the only point in which 
he can be compared to him — the extent and the variety 
of his knowledge — Condorcet was capable of judging of 
his talent, and of the circumstances in which he found 
himself, and was only disposed to imitate a man, who, 
endowed with a prodigious mind, had done well all that 
could be accomplished in his time, by doing likewise well 
all that very different times permitted him to do. Those 
who give the preference to Condorcet ought then to ad- 
mit, that frequently more rich in his subjects, and always 
more liberal in his thoughts, he has had the good fortune 
to render to the sciences a more solemn and more noble 
homage. As to those who affected to place him greatly 
below his predecessor, we much doubt whether they were 
capable of appreciating Fontenelle. One circumstance, 
which reflects honour on the character of Condorcet, de- 
layed until the year 17S2 his admission into the French 
Academy : he refused to pronounce the eulogium of the 
Duke de la Vriiliere, and this refusal, which drew upon 
him the hatred of Maurepas, induced him not to become a 
candidate for that distinction until after the death of that 
old minister. Before that epocha he had presented to 
that body an Eloge de F Hospital, which deserved, though 

France.] CONDORCET. 

it did not gain the prize; after which, he published his 
Life of Turgot. These two books are alone sufficient to 
place him on the rank of the first political writers. The 
latter especially is perhaps the best book that a statesman 
can study ; it is the genius of a great minister, interpreted 
by the genius of the friend, the most capable of under- 
standing it : it is a rapid, but perfect picture of every 
thing which can be done for the happiness of a great 
people, by the sole influence of the discoveries of wisdom 
and of time. 

In 1789, Condorcet paid to Voltaire a tribute, flatter- 
ing beyond all bounds. He published the life of that ex- 
traordinary man, and thus terminated the edition of his 
works, which he had enriched with a variety of notes, as 
curious as instructive. Our limits will not permit us to 
cite all the works, which, during twenty years, Condor- 
cet composed upon literature, philosophy, general poli- 
tics, and public economy. The last science, which he 
regarded in some sort as the result of all the others, had 
for him a particular attraction. He discussed its most 
difficult points, and is, beyond dispute, the man of his 
time in France who the best understood it, and who re- 
duced it to the most simple and certain principles. 

Notwithstanding so many titles to the confidence of 
his fellow-citizens, Condorcet was not chosen a member 
of the Constituent Assembly. It is possible that this 
circumstance had considerable influence on the political 
opinions he professed, and upon the conduct which he 
subsequently displayed. In his numerous writings, he ap- 
pears at first to have only desired the reform, which all 
France solicited ; but after the flight and arrest of the 
king, he was the first to pronounce the word Republic, 

CONDORCET. [trance. 

and to require the abolition of royalty. From that mo- 
ment he became one of the most distinguished members 
of the party, who, strengthened afterwards by the leaders 
of the deputation of the Gironde, prepared, in the legis- 
lative assembly, all the misfortunes of France. Accord- 
ing to the general law of all factions, Condorcet should 
have made to his new friends the sacrifice of his old ones. 
It would have been painful to him, no doubt, especially 
when he saw himself reduced to the degradation of per- 
mitting men, whom he had long esteemed, and whom he 
ought always to have respected, to be insulted under his 

It is well known in the Convention what was the fate of 
the Girondins. The 31st of May, 1793, deprived them 
of a power, which they had never exercised but in a preca- 
rious manner, and caused it to pass into the hands of the 
most atrocious and the vilest of men. Condorcet was not 
at first included among the victims of that fatal day : but 
he had the courage to reprobate it to his constituents, and 
to write against the plan of the constitution which fol- 
lowed it. A decree of accusation soon passed against 
him, and a little time after he w r as outlawed. A female, 
no less remarkable for her tenderness than her courage, 
received him into her house, and concealed him for eight 
months in Paris, at the risk of her own life. It was in 
this asylum, in the most critical situation possible, under 
the very sword of assassins, that Condorcet, without 
books, without notes, without any other assistance than 
the force of his own genius, the clearness of his concep- 
tions, and the tenacity of his memory, composed the 
astonishing Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progres de 
I'Esprit humain, which was not published until after his 
death. Why was he not able, by filling up this magnifi- 

prance.] CONDORCET. 

cent outline, to complete a work which he had so long 
meditated ! But the dread of a strict and secret inquiry, 
which would have proved fatal to his benefactress, forced 
him from his retreat. " / must leave you" he said to her, 
" J am an outlazo." " Si vous etes hors la hi" was her 
reply, " vous netes pas hors I'humanite !" Notwithstand- 
ing this proof of her disinterestedness and intrepidity, 
Condorcet withdrew himself from her protection, and 
wandered for a time about the environs of Paris. He 
then went to a friend at Fontenau, but he was not at 
home. In this state of suspense, he passed one night in 
a quarry, and another in an open field ; the third day he 
was arrested at Clamart, and conveyed to a prison in 
Bourg-la-Reine, where he swallowed poison to escape 
the destiny which awaited him. He died on the 28th of 
March, 1794, in his fifty-first year. 

Condorcet had associated with all the celebrated men 
of his time. He was the particular friend of Voltaire, of 
Turgot, and of d'Alembert. The latter well delineated 
his character, when he said of him cest un Volcan couvert 
de neige. No one, in fact, had a more forbidding exte- 
rior, and a soul more ardent. His character was firm, 
but indulgent. He despised all establishments — he pitied 
and excused mankind — be was a good husband and a 
good father — he esteemed talents, took pleasure in en- 
couraging and in developing them ; assisted with enthu- 
siasm, with affection, and with a peculiar delicacy, all 
those who were able, in their turn, to benefit the sciences 
and philosophy. 

His manners were unassuming, his temper equal, and his 
society pleasing. Timid, and even embarrassed in a nu- 
merous circle, it was in a private one that he displayed 

CONDORCET. [france. 

the superiority of his acquirements, and the extent of his 
knowledge. A few words which he uttered, afford am- 
ple testimony of his candour and rectitude. He was 
asked if he knew the particulars of the difference between 
Rousseau and Diderot. " Non" said he, " mais Dide- 
rot etoit ie meilleur des hommes, et quand on se brouillait avec 
lui on avait tort.—Mah voits ? j avals tort? 


Antonio Allegre, celebrated by the name of 
Correggio, justly obtained the title of Divine; which 
Raphael only divided with him. The name of Correg- 
gio, so distinguished by the poets, recals those pleasing 
ideas of grace and voluptuousness, of which he spread 
the charm over all the productions of his pencil. Few 
artists have attained a reputation so glorious, of whose 
life so little is known. The considerable works upon 
which he was employed, and the preference he, upon 
several occasions, obtained over Titian and Julio Ro- 
mano, prove, at least, that Correggio did not live in 
obscurity, as certain writers pretend. 

According to some authors his parents were poor, and 
of low extraction; others make him descended from a 
rich and noble family, — a question of little importance 
to the glory of this celebrated artist. He was born, 
according to the most authentic conjectures, at Correg- 
gio, in the year 1494, and received a very liberal edu- 
cation. His compositions, at once ingenious and poeti- 
cal, announce a cultivated mind, and a taste improved by 
the study of letters. The care he bestowed to render his 
works perfect, the use of the most delicate and valuable 
colours with which all his pictures are abundantly covered, 
the plates of copper upon which they were all painted, 
indicate a disinterested artist, and in the most easy 
circumstances. He even caused to be executed, by an 
able sculptor, named Bigarelli, certain models in relief 

IL CORREGGIO. [italy. 

for his Cupola at Parma; the expence of which could 
not be inconsiderable. It is beyond doubt, that Correg- 
gio, solely occupied with Ici'is labours, intermixed but 
little in society. At the age of 40, the epoch when he 
died, he had not attained the height of his renown. It 
is difficult to say by what means he arrived at this as- 
tonishing superiority, considering the little time he 
studied under Bianchi and Munari. Prolonging the life 
of Mantegna, some have asserted that he formed his 
taste under that master. It is more certain that he 
owes his celebrity to the delicacy of his sensations, which 
rendered insupportable every thing harsh in his lines and 
colouring, or in the transition of shade to light, and to 
that perfect grace of harmony, which proceeds from a 
particular organization. Correggio has dignified and 
embellished nature; he has imitated no one, and will 
even cause those to despair who attempt to imitate him. 
The pretended inaccuracy of his drawing, is perhaps 
exaggerated, which, in general, is noble, flowing, and 
graceful. Notwithstanding some defects, as rare as un- 
important, he will be even ranked among the boldest 
painters. He was one of the great luminaries of the 
art, at its supreme establishment, in the sixteenth cen- 
tury. By walking home with the price of an esteemed 
production, for which he was paid in copper money, he 
brought on a pleurisy, which carried him off in the year 

■■' • -■ ■ 

::: a k i : 




Among the numerous rulers of the Revolutionary Go- 
vernment, Danton eminently distinguished himself. 
Equal to him in cruelty, he was even more violent than 
his rival Robespierre. Like that tyrant, he directed 
his attention towards the dictatorship, but did not ma- 
nifest that genius which produces, conducts, and directs, 
events of importance. He was engulphed, like many 
others, in the tempest which, he had excited. 

Georges Jacques Danton was born at Arcis, upon the 
Aube, in the year 1759- A colossal figure, athletic mem- 
bers, coarse and disagreeable features, a stentorian voice, 
an elocution vehement, and replete with gigantic images, 
these qualities combined, contributed to give him an in- 
fluence in the provinces at the beginning of the revolu- 
tion. He abandoned his chamber as advocate for the 
tribunal of popular assemblies, and we behold him suc- 
cessively the friend of Mirabeau, Marat, and of Robe- 
spierre, of whom he was the victim. Elected at first 
member of the department of Paris, and afterwards deputy 
solicitor of the commune, his power greatly encreased 
in 179^. He was one of the organizers of the proceedings 
of the 20th of June and the 10th of August, and the ap- 
pointment of criminal judge, was the recompence of his 
devotion to the cause of anarchy. 

Mercier accuses Danton of having prepared the mas- 
sacres of September, and Prud'homme appropriates 



twenty pages of his history of the crimes of the revolution, 
to prove this accusation. Upon the invasion of the Prus- 
sians the terror which had taken possession of the minds 
of the factions, inclined them to debate in their council, 
whether the assembly should not retire to some city behind 
the Loire. Danton was the only person who opposed 
this removal. He displayed on that occasion no com- 
mon energy ; Robespierre never pardoned his warmth, 
and their enmity may be dated from that epoch. Called 
to the convention, Danton distinguished himself by the 
most revolutionary proceedings. He voted for the 
death of Louis XVI. and afterwards denounced those of 
his colleagues who had followed his example. He pro- 
posed on the 1st of August 1793, to erect the committee 
of public safety into a provisional government: some, 
months before he had promoted the establishment of the 
revolutionary tribunal. He likewise voted for the arrest 
of suspicious persons. On the Sd of September he sup- 
ported the law of the maximum of corn : a little time after he, 
declared himself averse to the festivals of reason, over which 
Hebert and Chaumette presided, and required that they 
should celebrate another in honour of the Supreme 
Being. We behold him alternately associating with 
Robespierre, in order to overthrow the Hebertistes, and 
alienating himself from him when they had perished on 
the scaffold. Their common partizans endeavoured to 
reconcile them : they induced them to dine together. 
" It is just," said Danton to his enemy, " to lessen the 
number of the royalists; but we should not in our jus- 
tice confound the innocent with the guilty." Robe- 
spierre, knitting his brow, replied, " Who has told you, 
that any innocent man has been put to death?" From 
that moment all hope of reconciliation was destroyed, 
and Danton retorted, as he withdrew, " We must shew 


ourselves there is not a moment to lose." But the mea- 
sures of his rival had been already taken ; he was arrested 
on the 30th of March, at night, 1794, and condemned on 
the 5th of April following, with those who were called his 
accomplices, as the author of a conspiracy, having for its 
object, as pretended, the reestablishment of monarchy . 

The last moments of Danton presented the spectacle 
of an ardent and intrepid mind contending against for- 
tune During his interrogation he replied with great 
composure, " Je suis Danton, assez eonnu dans la revo- 
lution : ma demeure sera bientot dans le neant, et mon nom 
Tivra dans le pantheon de I'histoire" In the course of his 
trial his judges employed every means of stifling his de- 
fence. The president of the tribunal reproached him 
for his audacity* " The audacious individual," he re- 
plied, "is reprehensible: but the rational intrepidity 
of which f have given so many times an example is ad- 
missible, and even necessary, and I congratulate myself 
on possessing it." Being recommended to abstain from 
all recrimination against his accusers, and to address him- 
self to the jury, he answered, an accused person like 
myself, acquainted with words and with things, replies 
before the jury, but does not speak to them. 

Upon his return to the conciergerie, he exclaimed, 
4i It was on such a day as this that I caused the revolu- 
tionary tribunal to be instituted ; for which I ask pardon 
of God and of men. I leave every thing in terrible dis- 
order. There is not a single man acquainted with the 
nature of governments. They are all the brothers of 
Cain; Brissot would have led me to the guillotine as 
well as Robespierre." He ascended with becoming cou- 
rage, and without resistance, the fatal cart, his head erect, 


his looks full of haughtiness: he seemed to command 
the crowd that surrounded him. A reflection of sensi- 
bility turned his thoughts towards his family, and for an 
instant affected him greatly- " Oh, my wife, my beloved 
wife," he exclaimed, " I shall, then, never behold thee !" 
Then checking himself rudely, he added, " Danton 
point de foiblesse;" and immediately ascended the scaf- 

It is pretended that a party of the cordeliers had re- 
solved to save him at the moment of his denunciation ; 
but this design proved abortive by the rapidity with 
which his trial was conducted. His friends have like- 
wise accused a general, who, until that period, had been 
his creature, with causing the failure of the means of re- 
sistance, which he might easily have organized. It is 
said that Robespierre had seduced him. Danton was 
greatly his superior in courage and in politics. He was 
qual to him in popularity, and only yielded to him in 
cunning and hypocrisy. 






&eorO& wo.-cc, sculp- 

LendoTvRjubljLshtcL h- Terrier , KooiL X- Sharpe, Toulm>. Tcb 1 1S11 


Deodat de Gratet Dolomieu was born in 
Dauphine, in the year 1750. He was admitted from 
his cradle into the Order of Malta. Imprisoned till- 
the age of nineteen, in consequence of an unfortunate 
event, he devoted himself to the study of the physical 
sciences, and that circumstance decided the remainder of 
his life. At the age of twenty-five he was appointed 
correspondent to the academy of the sciences. He then 
quitted the service, and employed several years in visit- 
ing Etna, Vesuvius, the Appenines, the Alps, and the 
islands of Lipari, of w r hich he has given a description. 
He went into Calabria, a little time after the disaster of 
1783, and published a memoir upon that catastrophe. 
Intimately connected with the Duke de la Rochefoucauld, 
Dolomieu was the partizan of the French revolution, but 
this did not divert him from his labours. He was a wit- 
ness in 1792* of the death of his friend : and although 
proscribed himself, did not hesitate to unmask his assas- 
sins in a memoir upon the " Physical Constitution of 

A little time after he was appointed professor of geo- 
logy, having been attached to the Institute from its forma- 
tion. In 1797, he set out with the expedition to Egypt, and 
was employed in the negociations which produced the re- 
duction of the island of Malta. His health did not suffer 
him to remain for a length of time in Egypt. Upon his re- 
turn being driven by a tempest into the gulph of Tarento, at 
the moment of the revolt against the French, he was ar- 

3 66 


rested with his companions, despoiled of his collections 
and his papers, and was on the point of being put to death. 
Conveyed to Messina he was thrown into prison, as a 
traitor to the order of which he had been a member. 
It was in vain that the French government, the Institute, 
the Royal Society of London, many learned men of Europe, 
and the king of Spain, even, exclaimed against this de- 
tention, so contrary to the rights of men; he only pro- 
cured his liberty by the victory of Marengo, and the 
treaty of peace which was concluded with the king of 
Naples. Dolomieu during his detention had been ap- 
pointed professor of mineralogy to the museum of natu- 
ral history. He had scarcely arrived when he com- 
menced a course of philosophical mineralogy, and 
departed a little time afterwards to visit, for the last time, 
the Upper Alps, which he called his cheres montagnes. 
He fell ill upon his return, and died at the end of 180], 
at a moment when he projected new journies and new 
discoveries, with a view of establishing in an incontesta- 
ble manner, the principles of philosophical mineralogy. 
This he wrote in his dungeon, with a bone and the black 
from the smoke of his lamp, upon the margin of some 
books which had been left with him. Dolomieu has 
published a great number of works relative to the science 
he cultivated, of which he had extended ^he limits. 






Tainted "by Sirrueif. 


L<r/hL:' i 


In contemplating the pictures of Gerard Douw, whom 
the most delicate touch, and exquisite finish, have ranked 
with the first painters in his kind, we can scarcely be- 
lieve that he formed his style in the school of Rembrandt; 
whose pencil is simply flowing, and his manner rough, 
at times even to affectation. The master and scholar, 
equally eminent in truth of colouring, vigour and har- 
mony of chiaro-scuro, differ essentially only in one par- 
ticular : Rembrandt calculated the effect of his pictures 
on the necessary distance between the painting and the 
eye of the spectator; Gerard Douw was desirous that his 
productions should likewise acquire admiration, by being 
closely beheld ; and he attained the twofold object he had 
in view. Notwithstanding the extreme nicety of his 
labours, the parts are always subordinate to the whole, 
and we no less admire the agreement and truth of the 
subject, than the purity of its details. 

Gerard Douw, the son of a glass-blower, of Leyden, 
was born in the year 16 13. After having received the 
principles of drawing, from Bartholomew Dolendo, an 
engraver, and lessons of painting, from Pierre Rouwen- 
horn, a painter on glass, he worked some time for the 
churches, and entered very 3 r oung into the school of 
Rembrandt. He quitted him to follow the bent of his 
own genius, and to apply himself to the scrupulous imi- 
tation of nature. 


GERARD DOUW. [holland. 

Gerard Douw devoted himself, at first, to portrait 
painting; but as he bestowed upon his subjects extra- 
ordinary care, and the length of his sitting became irk- 
some to his employers; he confined himself to painting, 
on a small scale, domestic scenes, the interior of shops 
and houses. His drawing, neither dignified nor correct, 
conformed with the style of his compositions ; neverthe- 
less, his characters have nothing that is trivial, while his 
expressions are in the highest degree natural. He took 
infinite pains to preserve his pallet and paintings from 
dust, and would permit no one to see him at work. He 
mixed his own colours, and neglected nothing that might 
contribute to the perfection of his works. He acknow- 
ledged that he had employed several days in painting a 
hand, or a simple accessary, such as the handle of a 
broom. Notwithstanding the time which his pictures 
cost him, he produced a great number : he was uncom- 
monly industrious, and laboured to an advanced period 
of life. We are ignorant of the precise year of his death ; 
but it is stated in 1674, at the age of 64. 

Gerard Douw left behind him a considerable fortune, 
having always been paid very extravagant prices for his 
works. One of his finest productions, purchased some 
years since, in France, for the Empress of Russia, was 
lost in the vessel conveying it thither. It cost 14,000 
florins. That of a woman in a dropsy, now in the Na- 
poleon Meseum, cost 30,000. Metzu, Schalcken, and 
Mieris, the disciples of Gerard Douw, have produced 
several works worthy of being compared, in point of 
finishing, with the most valuable of that master. 




Diocletian, born of obscure parents, in Dalrnatia, 
opened to himself by his merit, a passage to the first 
throne in the world. He early embraced the profession 
of arms ; attained quickly the rank of general of the 
legions of Moesia, was afterwards honoured with the con- 
sul-hip, and acquired so much reputation in the war against 
the Persians, that the army judged him worthy of the em- 
pire after the death of Numerian, and declared him Em- 
peror at Chalcedonia, the 17 th September, 284. 

Although he was the greatest captain of that age, and 
possessed all the talents for governing well, he distrusted 
his own powers, and two years after his coronation, he 
associated Maximian Hercules with him in the empire, 
(who, like himself, was a soldier of fortune, and his com- 
panion in war,) and sent him to command in the west, 
while he himself marched againtthe Persians, from whom 
he retook Mesopotamia. He afterwards penetrated into 
Germany, and carried the Roman eagles to the frontiers 
of the Danube. Notwithstanding these victories, he was 
far from being easy respecting the fate of his dominions. 
Dangers encreased upon him. The Britons evinced a 
disposition to revolt ; the Persians menaced the pro- 
vinces of the east. The Franks, Germans, and Dacians 
had been vanquished, but not subdued. In this state of 
things, Diocletian thought it necessary to add to the 
number of his chiefs, and divide his armies. In the year 
292, he bestowed the title of Caesar on Constantius Chlo- 


DIOCLETIAN. [italy. 

rus, whom Maximian Hercules adopted, and he honoured 
Galerius Maximian, whom he adopted himself, with the 
same dignity. He divided the empire with his three col- 
leagues, reserving only that part to himself which lay 
beyond the JEgean sea. Independent of this partition, 
each of these princes commanded throughout the whole 
empire, and their laws were every where in force. After 
this arrangement, which Diocletian considered as a mas- 
ter-piece of policy, but which was far from being so, the 
two emperors and the two Caesars went into their respec- 
tive provinces, and marched against the enemies of the 
empire. Diocletian signalized himself in Sj'iia and in 
Egypt; Achilleus was vanquished ; Maximian subdued 
the rebels of Africa ; Constantius repelled the savage na^ 
tions of Germany, and Galerius, after having been beaten 
at first by the Persians, defeated them entirely ; and 
forced N arses to sue for peace. These four princes, Dio- 
cletian at their head, triumphed on the 17th of Novem- 
ber, 303, over all the nations they had subdued. The 
pomp of this triumph, in which were seen the chiefs and 
the spoils of so many nations, equalled, if not surpassed, 
that of Aurelian. 

Diocletian, who had shewn himself to such advantage 
during the war, did not employ the leisure of peace as a 
good prince ought to do. He carried his pride so far as to 
require that respect to be paid to his person, which is 
only due to the King of kings. He gave orders that in 
future, none should approach him without prostrating 
themselves before him, and kissing his feet. This little- 
ness was unworthy of a great man, and his ordinances 
against the Christians are unworthy of a great king. 
He persecuted them at the solicitation of Galerius, who 
gradually obtained such influence over his mind, as to 


induce him to abdicate the empire. This Diocletian at 
first refused, but afterwards resigned it in favour of Nico- 
medes. At the same time Maximian divested himself 
of the imperial purple at Milan. This event happened 
in the year of our Lord 305. 

Diocletian, relieved from the burthen of empire, re- 
tired to Salona, in Dalmatia, and lived as a philosopher, 
after having lived as a monarch. Vopiscus says, that he 
had heard from his father, that this emperor, in his re- 
treat, made reflections worthy of a wise man. " Those 
who govern," said he, " are obliged to see with the eyes 
of others; their favours are solicited for persons who 
only deserve their chastisement, and they are induced to 
punish those whom the}' should reward." It is said that 
Maximian, less of a philosopher than himself, grew tired 
of the sameness of a private life, and solicited his former 
colleague to resume the purple, but Diocletian replied, 
" Come, my friend, and see the lettuces which I have 
raised in my garden at Salona." He passed the last ten 
years of his life in the innocent amusements of agricul- 
ture. It is said, that in his latter days, he became a prey 
to a deep melancholy, which brought him rapidly to the 
grave. He died at the age of sixty-eight, in the year of 
Christ, 313. 

This prince possessed the necessary talents for so- 
vereignty. Endowed with consummate prudence, and 
superior to the emotions of his soul, he knew how 
to be what policy required. Impenetrable in his de- 
signs, he saw into those of others. He appeared only to 
labour for the public good, and we are indebted to him 
for many wise laws, most of which are inserted in the Jus* 

DIOCLETIAN. [italy. 

tinian Code. Diocletian loved magnificence, and en- 
couraged all the arts; but his great qualities were ob- 
scured by great defects, and we may say of him as of 
Adrian, that he was a bad man and a great prince. 


■ " ■ ~ijz^Jj6n2&%M 


The greatest glory existing among men is that of 
giving laws to nations, or restoring a people to the dig- 
nity they had lost. Epaminondas was not a legislator, 
but Thebes is indebted to him for the few splendid days 
which she enjoyed. Before he appeared she was the ob- 
ject of the scorn of Greece : when he ceased to exist, 
she fell into her original state. Never did the influence 
of virtue and exalted character display itself in so signal 
a manner. 

Epaminondas was born about the year 411 B. J. C. 
His father, a Theban, named Polymnus, notwithstanding 
the mediocrity of his fortune, neglected nothing that 
could contribute to his instruction. He received lessons 
of philosophy, of Li vis of Tarentum. The most skilful 
masters taught him music. He excelled even in dancing, 
which was not despised among the Greeks as it was by 
the Romans. He amused himself in bodily exercises, 
not from motives of pleasure, but as the means of giving 
to his limbs more suppleness and agility, — so that in 
wrestling and running he had no superior. 

His acquired talents were exalted by all the moral 
virtues. His prudence and modesty, his contempt of 
riches, and warmth of friendship, by rendering him the 
admiration of the good, excited the envy and hatred of 
the malevolent. Solely occupied with the interests of 
the republic, and the desire of being useful to his coun- 

EPAMINONDAS. [greece. 

trymen, he totally forgot his own : but he had recourse 
to the liberality of the rich when a virtuous man was in 
indigence — when a captive was to be released — or an in- 
nocent girl was refused in marriage through want of a 
fortune. His solicitations were then generally well re- 
ceived, from the purity of his motives, and because he 
was known to possess too much wisdom and integrity to 
exact bounty for men who were undeserving of it. 
" Upon what principle did you send that adventurer to 
me who solicited a thousand crowns ?" said, one day to 
him, a haughty and very opulent citizen. u For the 
reason," replied Epaminondas, " that he is poor and you 
are rich." 

This illustrious Theban attached himself at an early 
age to Pelopidas, by those ties of friendship which pro- 
ceed from a conformity of pursuits and affections. The 
latter delivered Thebes from the tyranny of the Spartans 
without the assistance of Epaminondas, but in all their 
other achievements their dangers were mutual, and the 
admiration and gratitude of their countrymen united the 
names of these zealous patriots. 

He saved Thebes at the battle of Leuctra, which he 
gained over the Lacedaemonians, by continuing to exer- 
cise the power of a general, notwithstanding the decree 
which enjoined him to enter the city. This disobedience 
entailed upon him a capital punishment, and the length of 
his services, far from disarming the fury of the enemies, 
tended only to render it more vehement. It was incon- 
ceivable by what means he could escape so serious an 
accusation. He appeared in the assembly of the people, 
not with the air of a person accused, but with all the 
confidence of a conqueror. He did not endeavour to 

creece.] EPAMINONDAS. 

palliate the enormity of his crime ; he required only that 
his sentence might be couched in these terms :— »•" Epa- 
minondas is condemned to death by theThebans, because 
at the battle of Leuctrahe conquered the Lacedaemonians, 
which no Theban general had done before him ; and 
in a single action, saved not only the liberty of Thebes, 
but even that of Greece : and this punishment is also in- 
flicted upon him because he would not terminate the 
war until he had re-established the city of Messina, and 
rendered it capable of enchaining the restless ambition of 
the Lacedaemonians." A defence so skilful and so little* 
expected, disarmed his judges, overcame his adversa- 
ries, and caused him to be admired no less for his pre- 
sence of mind than his valour. 

The Spartans perceived that the fortune of their ene- 
mies rested on the talents of a single man. At the battle 
of Mantinea they directed all their efforts against Epa- 
minondas : this illustrious general there received a mortal 
wound. He felt that if he drew out the weapon with 
which he had been struck, his life would issue with his 
blood ; he therefore waited until the fate of the battle 
was decided. Having learnt that the Boeotians were 
conquerors, he exclaimed : — " I have lived long enough : 
I die revenged." He then drew the arrow from his 
wound, expired, and the glory of Thebes, which origi- 
nated in his valour, buried itself in his tomb. 

Epaminondas is one of those brilliant characters which 
take possession of the heart, and impress the soul with 
profound esteem. His life presents no foibles, no repre- 
hensible act. His patriotism was a religious sentiment, 
and a sublime passion. When he fought the Spartans it 
was difficult to equal him in talent, and impossible to 


surpass him in courage. He had the misfortune to in- 
struct Philip, the father of Alexander, in the military 
art : but who could foresee that the descendant of a weak 
and humbled monarch would one day become the scourge 
of Greece ? 

Epaminondas had led a life of celibacy. His friends, 
who surrounded him in his last moments, shed tears in 
abundance, and appeared to regret that he had died with- 
out posterity. i( I leave behind me two daughters/' re- 
plied this great man : " The victory of Leuctra, and that 
of Mantinea." He died in the forty-eighth year of his 
age, 363 years B. J. C. 

- to - 


Epicurus, one of the greatest philosophers or his 
age, and it may be added of antiquity, was a native of 
the city of Gargettus, in Attica. His family had been 
reduced by misfortune. His father, Neocles, was a 
schoolmaster; and his mother, if we may believe Diony- 
sius of Halicarnassus, cited by Diogenes Laertius, was 
employed to perform lustrations, and banish spectres. 

Epicurus was born in the third year of the 109th Olym- 
piad, and passed his infancy in the island of Samos. At the 
age of fourteen he began to devote himself to the study 
of philosophy. Apoliodorus, one of his disciples, assures 
us, in the first book of his life of Epicurus, that this 
philosopher applied himself to the universal knowledge 
of things in consequence of an insult he received from 
an ignorant grammarian, who was unable to elucidate 
the sentiments of Hesiod, with respect to chaos. 

Epicurus Was thirty-six when rje resolved to establish 
himself at Athens. Until then he had travelled, studied 
the peculiarities of men in different climates, meditated 
upon the principles of morality, and upon the means of 
teaching them to youth; who but too often are disgusted 
with the austere manner with which they are presented 
to them. The philosophers of his time appeared to have 
conspired against voluptuousness and the pleasures of the 
senses. Epicurus undertook their defence, and the 
youth of Athens came in crowds to receive his lessons. 



If the manner in which Epicurus presented morality 
charmed "his auditors, the place where he taught philo- 
sophy attracted their regard : it was in a beautiful garden, 
ornamented with every thing that could flatter the ima- 
gination, that this philosopher, seated in the midst of 
his disciples, upon delicious banks, or during his walks, 
amid delightful groves, inspired in them the love of vir- 
tue, temperance, frugality, zeal for the public welfare, 
fortitude of mind, and a contempt of death. 

Epicurus, sensible of the ties of marriage, led a life of 
celibacy. He was solely occupied in studying, in writ- 
ing, and in teaching. He composed above three 
hundred different treatises, remarkable for their 
learning and precision; none of which have reached us. 
Epicurus was beloved by the great, and admired even 
by his rivals ; he numbered among his disciples men the 
most distinguished for their merit and their birth ; and 
several celebrated females, among whom was Leontium, 
mistress of Metrodorus. 

Certain invidious stoics loaded him with abuse : he 
surrendered his person to them, and defended his dog- 
mas. His excessive application destroyed his health. In 
the latter years of his life he was attacked with an afflict- 
ing malady, and was unable to bear either fire or light; 
but the contemplation of his past life, as he wrote to his 
friends, at times ameliorated his sufferings. When he 
felt his end approaching, he caused his disciples to be 
brought into his presence, and bequeathed them his 
gardens. He settled in life several young men, whose 
tutor he had been, affranchised his slaves, gave instruc- 
tions relative to his funeral, and died at the age of 72, 
in the second year of the 127th Olympiad. 


If the philosophy of Epicurus met with great opposi- 
tion in ancient itimes, and has been ill received by the 
moderns, it arises from the circumstance of certain prin- 
ciples of his disciples having been attributed to him ; 
and from the failure of a proper distinction between 
the rigid Epicureans and those who pretended to be 
such. The difference between them was very great. 
The latter but. ill explained the opinions of Epicurus. 
Under a pretext that this philosopher made human feli- 
city to consist in voluptuousness, these false Epicureans, 
instead of considering voluptuousness in the sense of 
their master, that is to say, in the pleasure which arises 
from the practice of virtue, they took it, on the contrary, 
for the infamous pleasures of debauchery. The true 
Epicureans called these unworthy sectaries the sophists 
of their doctrine. Among these sophists Catius, of whom 
Cicero speaks, Horace, and Quintilian, hold the first 

Epicurus divided his philosophy into three branches, — 
dialectic, physical, and moral. He acknowledged an immor- 
tal being, unalterably and perfectly happy, since he acted 
upon nothing, and nothing acted upon him; but on ac- 
count of his existence being unalterable, he regarded it as 
a barren existence. This philosophy had revived the sys- 
tem of atoms, of Democritus, who maintained that the soul 
was composed of atoms, and was mortal. Epicurus taught 
wisdom under the seductive name of voluptuousness : he 
was particularly anxious in the explanation of the word, 
to divest it of every degrading interpretation, and openly 
declared that we cannot live in comfort unless we behave 
ourselves wisely, honestly, and justly, and cannot so live 
without living happily. What does not such a principle 
contain ? 


The Epicurean philosophy was professed, without, any 
interruption, from its establishment, until the time of 
Augustus. It made the greatest progress in Rome: — Lu- 
cretius sung the principles of Epicurism; Celsus pro- 
fessed it under Adrian ; Pliny the naturalist, under Ves- 
pasian: the names of Lucian, and of Diogenes Laertius, 
are yet celebrated among the Epicureans. 

1 M 

■ ' . 


Euripides was born at Salami s, 480 years B.J. C 
an epoch that will be for ever celebrated by the destruc- 
tion of the fleet of Xerxes, and by the victories of Plataja 
and Mycale. Sophocles, the successor of iEschylus, had 
then possession of the stage. Euripides did not fail to 
be a spectator of the triumphs of this great tragedian; 
and the remembrance of them inflamed his imagination, 
while he studied eloquence under Prodicus, ethics under 
Socrates, and philosophy under Anaxagoras. The abuse 
of the latter, in consequence of his philosophical prin- 
ciples, induced Euripides to devote himself to dramatical 
compositions. He was seen, at the age of eighteen, to 
enter the lists with Sophocles. He availed himself of the 
judicious changes introduced on the stage, both by iEs- 
chylus and Sophocles, but he had the talent of giving to 
his tragedies a particular character, which distinguished 
them from these celebrated poets. iEschylus represented 
men greater than they are in nature; Sophocles, as they 
ought to be; Euripides, such as they are. Particularly 
skilful in pourtraying the affections of the soul, he is ad- 
mirable when he describes the fury of love, or excites 
the emotions of pity. It must, however, be confessed, 
that, in the disposition of his subjects, and in the art of 
exciting the interest of the spectator, he is inferior to his 
rival. He reduced the style of tragedy to ordinary dis- 
course; but, always elegant, clear, harmonious, and cor- 
rect, he was enabled to preserve a proper medium between 
debasement and elevation, 


The disciple of Anaxagoras, and the friend of Socrates. 
he incorporated in his pieces the lessons of his master: 
he was admired by the wise, and was named, with much 
propriety, the philosopher of the stage. The orators 
were no less charmed with his eloquence : he formed 
Demosthenes; Cicero was delighted with him — it was 
the author he was reading in his litter, when he was 
assassinated by Popilius Lena. Too sensible of the cri- 
ticisms of a people capable of appreciating beauties and 
defects, Euripides quitted Athens, and retired to the 
court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia. His end was 
as deplorable as it was uncommon. It is said that the 
dogs of Archelaus met him, in his solitary walks, and 
tore his body to pieces, 407 years before J. C. Arche- 
laus raised a magnificent tomb to his memory. The 
Athenians, not being able to obtain from the king the re- 
liques of this great tragedian, erected a cenotaph to com- 
memorate his fame. 



It seems difficult to judge impartially of a man, who 
often substituted his own interest in the place of truth, 
and who made the most deplorable ill use of his wit, by 
attacking, without reserve, those talents which were the 
glory of his nation. But the historian must exercise 
rigid justice, even to those to whom this sentiment was 
unknown, and this duty obliges him to consider Freron 
in the double character of an unjust and dishonest critic, 
and a man of letters, estimable for his knowledge, and par- 
ticularly for his wit. 

This celebrated journalist was born at Quimper, in 1719, 
and at an early age displayed talents which the Jesuits, 
under whom he studied, cultivated with care. They 
afterwards admitted him into their society ; but disgusted 
with a religious life, he soon quitted it, and went to ex- 
ercise his critical talents with the Abbe Desfontaines. 
The Abbe was a man of celebrity in this dangerous line ; 
he had laid down a system for himself, was passionate, 
spoke of what he did not understand, but spoke with wit ; 
he spread satire abroad by handfuls, and it was read with- 
out being esteemed. Freron made him his model, and 
the opinion of the public was the same with respect to 
him. Les Lettres de Madame la Comtesse de * * # , a 
newspaper, of which he was the sole editor, met at first 
with sufficient success to cause uneasiness to those who 
were attacked by it; they succeeded in getting it sup- 
pressed; but Freron, in 1749, had interest enough to re- 


establish it under the title of Lettres sur quelques ecrits de 
ce temps. After having published twelve volumes and two 
numbers of this periodical work, Freron brought it for- 
ward in 1754, under the title of Annie Literaire, and con- 
tinued it until 1776, when he died. His rancour against 
what were then called the philosophers, gave a currency 
to his writings, and the tragedies of Marmontel were the 
first works which he abused without reserve, and even 
Avith fury. He next attacked the most celebrated names, 
Rousseau, Montesquieu, BufTon, Voltaire, &c. this latter 
more particularly was the constant object of his satire, 
he represented him as a skilful plagiary, as an incorrect 
historian, and as the tyrant of literature. It must be 
owned, that in some particular criticisms Freron might 
be in the right ; but he had the great fault of fixing only 
on slight errors, and passing over in silence the inimit- 
able beauties which will hand the works of this great 
man down to posterity. Voltaire appeared at first not to 
notice the abuse of Freron ; but at last, his patience being 
worn out, he determined to take a revenge by so much 
the more terrible as the public took a part in it. The 
piece called the Ecossaise appeared, was applauded, and 
from that moment the laugh was on the side of the great 
poet, and the journalist was forsaken ; people then began 
to perceive his injustice and partiality. Voltaire, in sting- 
ing pamphlets, harassed Freron every day, who by de- 
grees lost a great number of his subscribers. His paper, 
which, in the beginning, produced him about 20,000 
livres per annum, did not produce above 7 or 8,000, on 
which he was obliged to grant an annuity of 4,000 livres. 
His health and fortune declined, the one by excesses of 
every kind, the other by his prodigality. The gout hin- 
dered him from applying himself to business ; he had 
been for some days attacked by it,when, as he was getting 


up from table, the suspension of his privilege and sale of 
his paper was announced to him by order of the keeper 
of the seals. This unexpected news occasioned a fit of 
apoplexy,which carried him off in a few moments, on the 
10th of March, 177C. 

It is not always that in the immense collection of the 
Ann'ze Literaire we can judge of Freron as a wriier : most 
of the articles in this paper are not written by him. It is 
certain that the Abbe de Laporte, the Abbe de Verteuil,the 
Abbe de Fontenai, Mazarin, Fontenelle, Sautereau, and 
twenty others, contributed to it for a length of time, and 
that Freron confined himself exclusively to pamphlets 
and the analyzing of theatrical pieces. In the extracts 
which belong to him it must be confessed what his fellow 
labourers were deficient in, a close and spirited reasoning, 
pungent strokes, taste, the art of ridiculing wittily, a re- 
markable attachment to good principles, and a love for 
the good authors of antiquity. If Freron had carried on 
his journal without borrowing the aid of a crowd of mer- 
cenary writers, there would have been less often found 
in it of the style of a member of a college, and the plea- 
santries of coffee-house wits. 1 do not here speak of that 
passion which seemed almost alu^s to govern this fiery 
journalist; it is known that he was indebted to it for his 
worst pages, those in which he shews himself the enemy 
of celebrated talents, and the echo of jealousy and ma- 
lignity. His style is less pure in his latter writings than 
in his earlier ones ; in these he is simple, elegant, and 
easy ; his poems possess some of these qualities. His 
Ode, Sur la BataiHe de Fontenoi, indisputably his mas- 
ter-piece, is full of images, bold expressions, and noble 
thoughts well delivered ; his Opuscules, in 3 vols. l 6 2mo. 


Xes Amours de Venus et d y Adonis, translated from the 
Italian, form ihe other works of Freron, to whom also 
we are indebted for a revised edition of the Commentairc 
de la Henriade, by la Beaumelle, and some articles in the 
Journal Etranger. 



Giorgio Bahbarelli, generally known by the ap- 
pellation of Giorgione, from the loftiness of his figure 
and gait, was born at Castel-franco, in Friuli, in the 
year 1477. He at first studied music, in which art he 
excelled; but soon after, conceiving a violent inclination 
to painting, he entered into the school of Giovanni Bel- 
lini, whom he surpassed. He owes his success to the 
study of nature, and to the observations he made on the 
pictures of Leonardo da Vinci. The colouring of Gior- 
gione was greatly admired by the amateurs; and Titian 
himself, who had been his fellow scholar, under Bellini, 
was desirous of benefiting by his lessons; but Giorgione, 
judging that his principal aim was to seize his manner, 
refused to comply with his desires. 

Giorgione lived several years with his parents, and in 
his native city. He painted for the church of Castel- 
franco, a St. Francis, and a St. George. He also 
executed several portraits of uncommon beauty. Upou 
his return to Venice, he painted the facade of his 
house, in order to give the Venetians a taste for this sort 
of decoration. His idea was so favorably received, 
that he was immediately engaged to paint the interior of 
several palaces, where he represented the various subjects 
of the metamorphoses and loves of the gods. 

At the very time when Giorgione applied himself, with 
the greatest assiduity, to the study of his art, he died at 

GIORGIONE. [italy. 

Venice, at the early age of 32. The cause of his death is 
Uncertain : some authors suppose that he was carried off 
by the plague : others assert that he fell a martyr to grief, 
occasioned by the infidelity of his mistress. 

Ample outlines, bold foreshortening, dignity and vi- 
vacity of aspect and attitude, breadth of drapery, and 
richness of accompaniment, observes M. Fuseli, marked 
the style of Giorgione. Vasari pretends, that Giorgione 
owes his chiaro-scuro to Leonardo da Vinci. This as- 
sertion, however, were it not rejected by Boschini, 
neither the line and forms peculiar to Vinci, nor his 
system of light and shade seem to countenance. Gra- 
cility and amenity of aspect, characterize the lines and 
fancy of Leonardo ; fulness and roundness those of Gior- 
gione. His greatest works were in fresco, of which little 
but the ruins remain. His numerous oil-pictures still 
preserve their beauty. Some consider as his master- 
piece, " Moses taken from the Nile, and presented to 
the Daughter of Pharaoh," in the archiepiscopal palace 
at Milan: the sweetness of which is heightened bv a 
certain austerity of tone. 

£narav, d h revrat Cbohe.. 

Zcndon - '■ ■ 2i I • ■ ":.. :• : FoiJxrv.Jcatj.jjSu 


Hippocrates was born 460 years before J. C. ia the 
small island of Cos, which the great celebrity of that 
citizen has rendered illustrious. 

He studied physic under his grandfather, Nebrus, in 
which he was eminently distinguished, and received a 
most liberal education. He prepared himself, a long 
time, for the practice of his art; not only by the the- 
oretical study of physic, but by the attainment of all the 
practical knowledge of his time. He travelled afterwards, 
for twelve years, through Macedonia, Thrace, and Thes- 
saly, and collected, during his journies, a great number 
of important observations: he also traversed Lybia and 
Scythia. . At the court of the king of Macedonia he 
gave a remarkable proof of the experience he had ac- 
quired, and of the sagacity with which he was enabled 
to discover, by the smallest outward symptoms, the deep 
and secret motions of the human heart. 

Consulted at this court by Perdiccas, the only son of 
the king, who appeared insensibly to languish under a 
fatal disease, he perceived that the cause of his malady, 
then regarded as incurable, had its origin in an unfortu- 
nate attachment he had formed for Phila, a beautiful 
slave, belonging to his father. 

The king of Persia was desirous of engaging Hippo- 
crates to settle in his kingdom, at that time afflicted with all 


HIPPOCRATES. [oreece. 

the horrors of pestilence : — he received this answer. " I 
enjoy, in my own country, cloathing, lodging, and nou- 
rishment: I am not in want of any thing. As a Greek, 
it would he disgraceful in me to aspire to the riches and 
the grandeur of barbarians; and I shall not go to benefit 
the enemies of my country, and the destroyers of its 

Upon another occasion, Hippocrates refused to go to 
the assistance of a foreign nation, because he foresaw, 
by the direction of the wind, that Greece would be 
speedily devastated by an epidemical disease : he remained, 
for that reason, in his native country, and occupied him- 
self, with his disciples, in devising means to prevent, or, 
at least, to lessen the evil with which it was threatened. 

These important services, these signal proofs of his 
disinterestedness, and devotion to the public good, were 
recompensed by the admiration and the gratitude of his 
countrymen — the only prize worthy the acceptance of 
elevated minds. 

The Argians and the Athenians intermixed a degree 
of zeal, and an exaltation almost religious, in the ex- 
pression of their gratitude. The former consecrated a 
statue of gold to Hippocrates : the second awarded him 
a crown; bestowed upon him, by decree, the rights of 
a citizen ; and gave, to the young men of Cos, who might 
come to study at Athens, the same rights and privileges 
which the youth of that city enjoyed. 

The works of Hippocrates are numerous : they were 
brought, like the other scientific and literary treasures, 
from the east, at the epoch of the overthrow of the 

greece.] HIPPOCRATES. 

empire of Constantine. It is believed that one of the 
first editions was made from a manuscript in the library 
of Cardinal Bessario. The Greek text of the edition 
of Faesius passes for the least defective; but it would be 
desirable that a new edition were formed, after the con- 
cordances of different manuscripts, which are dissemi- 
nated in the great libraries of Europe. 

Hippocrates has not been surpassed, nor even equalled, 
in every thing that relates to medical physiognomy; and, 
as it has been remarked by the author of* a curious note 
upon Lavater*, no observer more accurately perceived, 
described, or better appreciated, than Hippocrates, the 
various modifications of man, under disease, and the 
numerous alterations and changes of the countenance j 
all of which have a particular signification. No one 
better understood the nature of every pang, of every ex- 
pression; in a word, the multiplicity of the symptoms to 
which so many hopes, and so many anxieties are attached, 
so many favourable and dangerous crises ; from the ap- 
pearance of a salutary hemorrhage, to the decomposition 
of the features, which have since been called la face Hip- 
pocratiqae, which seems, in some measure, to express the 
horrors of death, of which it is the melancholy indication. 

It would however be unjust to conclude from thence, 
that physic has made no progress since the days of 
Hippocrates. To elucidate this question, it becomes ne- 
cessary to consider, separately, in the great father of me- 
dicine, the man of science, and the medical observer. 

* See the Art de connoitre les Rommes, by Lavater, with the addition* 
of Physiology, or Natural History, by M. Moreau de la Sarthe. Paris. 

HIPPOCRATES. [greece. 

As a man of observation, Hippocrates is certainly the 
first of physicians; no one can be compared with him 
in the difficult art of understanding, during the course 
of diseases, that variety of changes, and of symptoms, 
which it is impossible sometimes to describe, but which 
habit, practice, the continual exercise of the senses, and 
the mind, can only make us appreciate: for which rea- 
son, Le Clerc has judiciously observed, " that an eminent 
physician acquires, by time and experience, a large por- 
tion of knowledge, not traditional, which perishes with 

him, and renders his loss of national importance." 

• - 

As a man of science, Hippocrates had not the same 
advantage : he has done all that genius, patience, and 
observation, could execute; but, since the celebrated 
epoch' when his name became established in the annals 
of the art, medical science has greatly advanced; ana- 
tomy, and positive physiology, of which the Greeks had 
scarcely any idea, have been completely understood; 
diseases themselves have become more numerous, and 
more varied, and the subjects of observation, in conse- 
quence, much multiplied; chronic disorders, especially, 
have opened, to the modern^, a new field of experience. 
The means of art, their resources, their instruments, have, 
from age to age, been rendered more perfect, by the 
happy application of physic, of chemistry, and of natural 
history. Not to acknowledge his real excellence; not to 
distinguish in Hippocrates the vast portion of the know- 
ledge of his time, which he acquired ; to confound science 
and art; and to pretend that physicians, during more 
than twenty centuries, have added nothing to medical 
sciences, is to act in opposition to truth; to merit the 
reproach of Bacon to the learned men of his time,who as- 
signed to the empire of knowledge limits, as soon exceeded.. 


and as easily overcome as the pillars of Hercules, which 
the presumptuous ignorance of the first geographers had 
considered the boundaries of the earth. 

What Hippocrates has' particularly done for the pro- 
gress of his art, consists principally in the union of phi- 
losophy and physic, in the introduction of diet in the 
treatment of acute disorders, and in the manner of de- 
scribing diseases, which may serve as a model to practi- 
tioners in the present day. It appears, before his time, 
they did not treat the sick regularly at home, and that 
he was, in some sort, the founder of the clinical system; 

Hippocrates, says the Abbe Barthelemy, expresses 
many things in few words. He never deviates from 
his object, and in his course to it, leaves, by the way, 
emanations of light, more or less perceptible according 
' to the intelligence of the reader. This* was the method 
of the ancient philosophers, who were more solicitous to 
point out new ideas than to dwell upon such as were 

The character of this great man is developed in his 
writings. Nothing is more affecting than the candour 
with which he details his mischances and his faults : — 
here you read a list of the disordered he attended ; and 
of whom the greater part died in his arms : there you 
behold him near a Thessalian, wounded on the head by 
B stone : he does not, at first, perceive it is necessary to 
have recourse to the trepan ; distressing symptoms at 
length apprize him of his mistake; the operation was 
made on the fifteenth day, and the patient died on the 
next. From his own lips we hear this avowal: su- 
' perior to every species of self-love, he, himself, is soli- 


citous that his errors even should become lessons to hjs 

Hippocrates required these endearing qualities in every 
person worthy of the name of a physician. He was de- 
sirous that greatness of mind should be associated with 
the extent and variety of human acquirements ; that the 
physician should possess all the virtues of his art ; and 
what are those virtues ? This point scarcely admits of a 
single exception, since the profession of physic is inse- 
parable with the union of all the qualities of mind and 
heart. In fact, if we have no confidence in the wisdom 
of a physician, and in his discretion, what father of a 
family would not be apprehensive, in consulting him, 
that he was introducing either a spy, or an intriguer, 
*>to his house; a seducer of his wife or his daughter? 
How could we rely upon his humanity, if he only ap- 
proached his patients with a revolting gaiety, or with a 
rude and morose demeanour; upon his firmness, if, by 
servile flattery, he acquiesces in their disgusts, or yields 
to their caprice ; upon his prudence, if always occupied 
with his outward appearance ; if perfumed, and in mag- 
nificent apparel, we beheld him running from town to 
town, to pronounce, in honour of his art, discourses, 
grafted on certain axioms of the poets ; upon his under- 
standing, if, beside the general equity which an honest 
man observes to the world, he only possesses that justice 
which the sage exercises on himself, and which teaches 
him that, in the midst of the greatest wisdom, there is 
more scarcity than abundance ? 

The respect for Hippocrates, in different ages, may be 
regarded as the measure of the progress of physic. It 
was almost carried to a species of worship, when Galen 

geeece.] HIPPOCRATES. 

suddenly arose to oppose the decline of the art of heal- 
ing, and to recal physic to the principles of the most 
dignified of its legislators. 

The best editions of the works of Hippocrates are 
that of Faesius, Geneva, fol. 1657 ; of Linden, 2 vols. 
8vo. Amsterdam, 1665; and that of Mackius, 2 vols, 
fol. Viennae, 1743. His treatises, especially his apho- 
risms, have been published separately. 




The first historians were poets; the annals of nations 
were, for a long time, written in verse; they are more 
easily impressed upon the memory than in prose; they 
were sung, and savages and barbarians are excited to 
glory, by celebrating the exploits of their ancestors. 

Herodotus was born about 500 years B. J. C. at a time 
when the imagination was greatly heated by the grandest 
spectacles. His father's name was Lyxes, and that of 
his mother's Dryo. When his country laboured under 
the oppressive tyranny of Lygdamis, he fled to Samos, 
and travelled over Egypt, Italy, and Greece. He after- 
wards returned to Haiicarnassus, and expelled the tyrant; 
which patriotic deed, far from gaining the esteem and 
admiration of the populace, displeased and irritated them 
so that Herodotus was obliged to fly to Greece, from 
public resentment. 

These occurrences, an intercourse with enlightened 
men of every country, and an initiation into certain 
mysteries concealed from the multitude, extended his 
knowledge, and rendered him capable of extraordinary 
enterprizes. He made the Greeks acquainted with the 
history of the barbarians in a manner suited to interest 
their pride. In writing for a people enamoured of what 
was marvellous, he respected the fables believed by the 
vulgar, and displayed frequently the imagination of 

HERODOTUS. [greece. 

a poet, when he ought to have exhibited the sagacity 
of a philosopher. It must be nevertheless confessed, 
that that critical investigation which is now so much re- 
quired, was but little known to the ancients. Livy and 
Tacitus, who lived in the most enlightened ages, detail, 
seriously, uncommon events, to which the most prepos- 
terous superstition could only have given the smallest 
credit. Herodotus was more excusable; he lived in a 
time when the marvellous seduced every mind. However 
he may be reproached for his apparent or real credulity, 
his history contains observations upon the most celebrated 
people of Asia and Africa, which modern travellers have 
confirmed. It is exact and true in every thing that re- 
gards popular prejudices; his narrative is as pleasing as it 
is varied; he relates with the most attractive simplicity: 
we perceive no artifice in his recitals : we behold a man 
who says what he has seen or heard, and who exhibits 
such an air of sincerity, as to demand our confidence. 
Like Homer, he makes his heroes speak and act, and 
their harangues are in strict conformity with their man- 
ners and their characters: at times they convey the 
wisest lessons of morality and policy. Who is not de- 
lighted at seeing Solon at the court of Crcesus? the phi- 
losopher humbles the pride of the monarch; but the 
precepts which the happy prince contemns, tend to the 
salvation of the unfortunate sovereign. Who does not 
feel an interest in the deliberation of the Magi, who dis- 
pute, after the death of Cambyses, on the best form 
of government? Herodotus rises above himself, when 
he describes the battles which the Greeks maintained 
with the enemies of their independence, without depart- 
ing from that dignified simplicity which history requires. 
With more pomp of expression, with the language of 

greece.] HERODOTUS. 

enthusiasm, if our credulity is imposed upon by the 
heroic exploits he recounts, the little ostentation he inter- 
mixes in his recitals, makes us believe his sincerity. 

If he be compared with the historians of his country, 
we shall find that he is more tender, more elegant than 
Thucy elides; but possesses more animation, and less vigour. 
It is true that the latter, the painter of the misfortunes, 
and dissentions, of the most flourishing states of Greece, 
required a broader pencil than that which delineated their 
brilliant exploits, and admirable triumphs. Equal to 
Xenophon, as a writer, he is less moral and philosophi- 
cal : the disciple of Socrates appears to write solely to 
enlighten the understanding; the historian of the Greeks, 
and of uncivilized nations, seems more solicitous of cap- 
tivating the imagination, by the charms of his recitals. 
Compared with the Roman historians, Herodotus is as 
elegant as Livy ; but inferior, in some respects, to Sallust; 
he bears not the smallest similarity to Tacitus. He 
read his history at the Olympic Games, which he had 
composed in his thirty-ninth year, B. C. 445. It was 
received with such universal applause, that the names of 
the nine muses were unanimously given to the nine books 
into which it is divided. The praise he received excited 
the enthusiasm of Thucydides, and Herodotus had a rival, 
but not an imitator. 

In speaking of these two historians, Dionysius of Hali- 
carnassus gives the preference to the older; both with 
respect to the subject of his work, and the execution. 
This preference would be more just, if the historian, like 
the poet, could dispose his matter according to his own 
taste. Far from reproaching Thucydides, for recording 
deplorable events, we ought rather to commend him, for 

HERODOTUS. [greecb. 

giving to bis countrymen important lessons, by displaying 
to tbem the fatal effects of civil dissentions, and for pre- 
serving, in the midst of factions, a -character of inde- 
pendence and impartiality. 

Herodotus had written another history of Assyria and 
Arabia, which is not extant. The life of Homer, gene- 
rally attributed to him, is supposed, by some, not to be 
the production of his pen. 

The two best editions of this great historian, are that 
of Wesseling, fol. Amsterdam, 1763; and that of Glas- 
gow, 9 vols. 12mo. 176l. 

'by S-eorae Cbohe, 

London;^ '/rr^boS. & Sharps. Jbulm 


We have but little to offer respecting the genius of a 
man who has furnished matter for so many dissertations, 
and so many volumes. All that appears certain is, that 
one of the oldest poets is still esteemed the most dignified 
and the most admirable. Epic poetry is the most diffi- 
cult production of the human mind, and the Iliad is the 
finest of epic poems. 

We are ignorant of the epoch, or the place, which 
gave birth to Homer; it is only presumed that he lived 
a Jittle time after the siege of Troy, and that he then 
became informed of the principal occurrences of the 
warriors who there distinguished themselves. This 
has given him an advantage over those who simply 
delineate the exploits and the character of heroes, of 
which the recollection is only preserved by feeble tra- 
dition. The conception of the Iliad indicates an ima- 
gination, lively, fertile, and comprehensive; the delinea- 
tion of the characters, and their various achievements, 
discovers an observer replete with genius; and the fictions, 
which embellish the poem, are the happy efforts of an 
imagination as rich as it is brilliant. Certain critics, 
without due reflection, have reproached him for the 
coarseness of the manner in which lie describes the aspe- 
rity and the savage rudeness of his heroes. Are they de- 
sirous that he should have given to the companions of 
Achilles, of Agamemnon, and of Ulysses, the language 
of the courtiers of Louis XIV. ? 


The Odyssey has neither the fire nor the majesty of 
the Iliad ; it announces the poet in his decline ; hut it 
is still the vigorous old age of Homer : it is, as Longinus 
observes, the setting sun, which has not the glow of his 
meridian splendour, but which possesses the same gran- 
deur. We do not find in this latter work that dramatic 
form which gives so much motion, and so much interest, 
to the Iliad ; the poet, in the Odyssey, abandons himself 
to the pleasure of relating; but his genius is still observ- 
able in many pleasing episodes, in the description of 
manners, and in the flow of a tender and insinuating 

No poet acquired a reputation so universal, and so 
permanent as Homer* Eschylus said, that his. tragedies 
were only the reliques of the magnificent banquet of 
Homer: Plata, in decrying the poets, endeavoured to 
imitate him, in his harmonious prose : Aristotle formed 
the principles of his Poetica after the Iliad : and Virgil 
is indebted to him for his subiimest beauties. 

We are not informed in what manner the poems of Homer 
were preserved. It is pretended that they were chanted, by 
certain rhapsoclists, in detached pieces, in towns and vil- 
lages, as the Caledonians sung the poems ofOssian ; thatPi- 
sistratus, tyrant of Athens, was the first who arranged them 
in the order they have now descended to us. It is, never- 
theless, believed that Lycurgus had previously collected 
them ; it is honourable to the poet to have found favour 
in the sight of such an austere legislator. Homer had 
many enthusiastic admirers among men of the finest 
taste, and found detractors in those of less judgment— -in 
supporters of contradiction and of paradox. We well 
know what was the fate of Zoilus; his existence was des^ 


picablc and unhappy ; and his death avenged, in a cruel 
manner, the glory of Horner, whose fame he had aspersed; 
whether, as Vitruvius observes, he was crucified in Egypt, 
or burnt alive at Smyrna The works of this great poet 
raised a host of deramers, in the seventeenth century ; 
but it is sufficient to remark, with the exception of La 
Motte, and Fontenelle, that these sacrilegious coteinpo- 
raries of the god of poetry were inferior writers, who had 
not the smallest pretensions to be jealous of the brilliancy 
of his reputation. The defenders of Homer were, Des- 
preaux, Racine, and Fenelon. The best dissertation 
that has been written on the author of the Epopoea, is that 
prefixed by Pope to his translation of the Iliad; in this 
masterly performance, erudition, taste, and philosophy, 
appear combined. Of the merits of his version it is un- 
necessary to speak; it is an eternal monument of the 
genius and the industiy of Pope. 

Homer possesses all the resources of the figurative 
style, and all the delicacy of the simple. Strabo dis- 
covers in him all the precision of the most skilful geo- 
grapher. His poems may be compared to the shield of 
divine manufacture, which he has so ably described. He 
presents us with the mo«t faithful picture of the achieve* 
ments of war, and of the labour of peace ; he places the 
universe before our view ; he has ail the beauties of the 
various dialects he employs ; his most unfinished passages 
surpass the finest pieces of other poets, all of whom he 
excels in vigour, in the extent of his genius, in the 
richness of his fancy, and in the powers of invention. 
His work9 assured him such a supremacy, that the an- 
cients admired and venerated him as the high priest of 
nature; who had admitted him into her most secret 


sanctuary, and made him a partaker of her sublimest 

We have nothing certain as to his life : it is pretended 
that he lived in indigence, and was blind ; that rejected 
and despised when living, he was reduced to beg for sus- 
tenance about the seven cities which, after his death, 
disputed the honour of his birth, and raised temples to 
his memory. This rivalship has been injurious to the 
researches undertaken by the learned, at various epochs, 
to establish his native country. The most singular mo- 
nument of this kind, in existence, is the life of Homer, 
attributed to Herodotus, which appears, however, little 
more than the result of the fables in circulation during 
the period when that great historian flourished. 

Xonfon; Publish. 


Quintius Horatius Flaccus, an elegant Roman 
poet, was born at Venusia, it) Apulia, 13. C. 65. His 
father perceiving his talents, though his fortune was in- 
considerable, resolved to cultivate them. He first placed 
him under the best master^ at Rome, where he soon 
distinguished himself, and at the age of 22, sent him to 
Athens, to study philosophy. Here he attracted the 
notice of Brutus, who took him into his army, and made 
him a tribune : but at the battle of Philippi, Horace 
threw away his shield and fled. 

Upon his return to Rome, he devoted himself entirely 
to letters, and fell into great distress. Virgil, delighted 
with the productions of the young poet, became his 
patron, and recommended him to Mecsenas, by whom 
he was introduced to the Emperor. Augustus soon of- 
fered him considerable preferments : these Horace de- 
clined, preferring a private life to the honours of a court. 
Esteemed by the first people at Rome, particularly by 
Mecsenas and Pollio, Horace lived in voluptuous indo- 
lence, exempt from ambition and from care. 

Though averse to the shackles of a court, Horace de- 
voted himself very freely to all the duties of friendship. 
Equally remote from adulation and pride, he neither 
commended folly nor insulted ignorance. His satire fell 
principally upon the pretenders to learning, whom he just- 
ly considered as the most ridiculous and impertinent part 


HORACE. [italy. 

of society. No one could better trifle with the great than 
himself ; nor could apply his pleasantries to more ad- 
vantage. His judgment was as correct as his wit was 
penetrating and refined. His conduct was superior to 
that of the generality of poets. He never unbosomed 
himself but to persons whom he thoroughly knew. Not 
to render himself responsible for the faults of others, he 
was peculiarly cautious in his recommendation. Though 
living as he did among courtiers and statesmen, he ne- 
ver troubled himself with state affairs. He well knew 
the danger of penetrating into, or censuring the projects 
of men in power, and of writing, as Pollio observed, 
against those nho canproscribe. His philosophy was that 
of Epicurus ; but it tended to calm the impetuosity of the 
ardent, and placed wisdom in retirement and repose. 

In the latter part of his life, he retired to the country, 
where he indulged himself in a philosophical ease, which 
he has admirably described in his Odes. He died 3 years 
B.C. and was buried near his friend and patron, Mecaenas, 
whose death, it is said, accelerated his own. The best 
editions of his works are those of Lips. 1752, and of Glas^ 
gow, 12ino. 1744. 





; Published. 1 SJuope-.Povltn'.JcaivSio. 


Isocuates was born at Athens, in the year 456, before 
the Christian era. His natural timidity, or perhaps a 
proper distrust of his own powers, precluded him from 
the tribune, which opened, to men of superior talent, and 
sometimes only of superior audacity, a road to the most 
brilliant offices. The profession of rhetorician, more suitable 
to the abilities of lacerates, procured him an existence 
infinitely more comfortable than the eloquence of the 
tribune. Gorgias, surnamed Leontinus, had acquired, by 
teaching rhetoric, a fortune which enabled him to decorate 
the temple of Delphos with an offering which would have 
reflected lustre on the magnificence of a monarch. 1 Iso- 
crates was no less fortunate : the number of his disciples 
was so great, that Cicero, speaking after tradition, com- 
pared his school to the Trojan Horse, from whence a 
crowd of armed warriors issued. His orations, which have 
descended to lis, convey an idea of a writer deficient in 
warmth and enthusiasm, more 1 occupied about words than 
things, and who was less mindful of polishing his ex- 
pressions, than in creating ideas. His panegyric on 
Athens was the labour of ten years. Dionysius, of Hali- 
carnassus, compared his eloquence to that of Lysias, and 
says, that he is by no means h is inferior in purity of language, 
and in his attention to the language of his time; but he 
censures his diction, as being grave and pompous, and 
his periods, as heavy and dull: — in point of invention and 
arrangement, he considers him greatly superior to Lysias. 
The same critic praises, in a particular manner, the choice 



of bis subjects, as being always dignified, and directed 
to the welfare of his country. In opposition to the 
opinion of Dionysius, [socrates has been esteemed by 
others for the sweetness and graceful simplicity of his 
style, for the harmony of his expressions, and the dig- 
nity of his language. 

The life of ihis celebrated orator presents few events. 
He was taught in the school of Gorgias and Prodicus, 
but his oratorical abilities were never displayed in public. 
In the midst of political dissentions, his school was re- 
spected; and, though he had the courage to wear mourn- 
ing for the death of Socrates, tyranny did not molest the 
expression of grief and gratitude in the disciple of that 
illustrious victim. The cause of his death was honour- 
able: the defeat of the Athenians, at Cheronaea, had such 
an effect upon his spirits, that he would not survive the 
disgrace of his country. He died, after he had been four 
days without taking any aliment, in the 99th year of his 
age, about 338 years before J. C. 

It is said that Demosthenes took lessons of him, and 
that Isocrates admitted him gratuitously into his school, 
because the mediocrity of his fortune did not permit him 
feo pay the sum he required of his disciples. 

'tdVu.;d f i hU.yujt 

EruircLvd- ?:■ t-iV.'i/t uv'i 

LonA n- PuJblLs'h& ty TZmar&Qod. & Sharp .Poidxry, i£o 


Athanasius Kirchkr, a famous philosopher and 
mathematician, and withal a learned man, was born at 
Fulden, in Germany, in the year 1601. He entered into 
the society of Jesuits in 161S, and after going through 
the regular course of studies, during which he shewed 
most amazing parts and industry, he taught philosophy, 
mathematics, and the Hebrew and Syriac languages, in 
the university of Birtzburg, in Franconia. The war 
which Gustavus Adolphus, of Sweden, made in Germany, 
disturbing his repose, he retired into France, and settled 
in the Jesuits' college, at Avignon, where he was in 
1635. He was afterwards called to Rome, where he 
taught music in the Roman college, for six years. He 
spent the remainder of his life in that city, and for some 
time professed the Hebrew language. He died in 1680, 
after having published as many books as one would think 
might employ a good part of his life even to transcribe, 
for they consist of twenty-two volumes folio, eleven 
quarto, and three octavo. 

His works are rather curious than useful, frequently 
savouring much of visions and fancy, and if they are not 
always accompanied with the greatest exactness and pre- 
cision, the reader, we presume, will not be astonished. 
His principal work is " Oedipus iEgyptiacus : hoc est, 
universalis hierogjyphicag veterum doctrinae temporum 
injuria abolitse. instauratis." — Romae, 1652, in four vols. 



KIRCHER. [gehmanv. 

Kircher was more than ordinarily addicted to the study 
of the hieroglyphical characters, and if he could not 
always find a true meaning for them, he contrived the 
most plausible in his power. As his rage for hierogly- 
phics was justly esteemed ridiculous, some young 
scholars, it is said, had a mind to divert themselves at 
his expense : with this view they engraved some un- 
meaning fantastic characters, or figures, upon a shape- 
less pieoe of stone, and had it buried in a place which 
was shortly to be dug up ; then they carried it to Kircher, 
as a most singular curiosity in the antique way, who, 
quite in raptures, applied himself instantly to explain 
the hieroglyphics, and made it at length the most intelli- 
gible thing in the world. If this story was not true, there 
is no doubt that it might have been ; and if Kircher had 
been made a dupe in the science of antiques, so have ten 
thousand beside him. Among Kircher's other works are 
" Ars Magnesia ;" " Lingua Egyptiaca restituta ; Obelis- 
cusPamphilius i" " Iter extaticum cceleste;" " Iter extati- 
cum terrestre ;" " Mundus subterraneus, in quo universal 
naturaj majestas et divitise demonstrantur ■" " Arcae 
>?oe f " Tunis Babel ;" " Organon mathematicum ad 
disciplinas mathematicas facili methodo addiscendas ;" 
t( Ars magna sciendi in duodecim libros digesta." For 
this last work he was commended by the fanatic Kuhl- 
man, who was as great a visionary in religious, as Kir- 
cher was in learned matters, and therefore rather more 



A Bo 

^''ij'-.rv,-: ?•• !>:;,' .;vfe. 

ZoTLcUm^HjilzsTud. ~by Terrwr.Sood !• STiarpe ■J'yiiltry ;£>ecaj.Scg. 


Leon idas, the son of Anaxandrides, ascended the 
throne of Sparta upon the death of Cleomenes, who 
died without leaving any male issue. He was descended 
from the family of the Agidae* 

Distinguished for courage, and eminent for his talents 
in war, this prince was chosen commander of the Greeks 
at Thermopylae, the only passage by which the innume- 
rable army of Xerxes could penetrate into Greece. He 
set out with 7000 men, according to the calculation of 
M. Bartheleme, the learned author of the Travels of 
Anacharsis, — devoting himself to certain death for the 
safety of his country. As he quitted Sparta for the 
battle, his wife asked him, if he had any injunction 
to give her. " No," he replied 3 " except, after my 
death, that you marry a man of virtue and honour, who 
may raise children deserving of the name of your first 

This skilful general placed his army adjoining Anthela, 
and waited the approach of the enemy. He had scarcely 
finished his preparations when Xerxes displayed his co- 
lumns on the plain of Trachinia. He then dispatched an 
officer to reconnoitre the Greeks \ and his surprise was 
extreme, when the person entrusted with the commission, 
being only able to discern a portion of the soldiers of 
Leonidas, declared their number not to exceed 300 
men. Xerxes waited some days, in the hope that they 



would surrender without fighting. " Tf you will submit/' 
said he, in a letter to the Lacedaemonian general, " I 
will give you the empire of Greece." The proposition 
of the Persian monarch, was that of a chief of a band 
of slaves ; the reply of Leonidas worthy of the first ma- 
gistrate of a free people : " I would rather die for my 
country, than enslave it." Another letter of the Persian 
king only contained these words: " Deliver your arms." 
Leonidas wrote underneath : " Come and take them." 

They then prepared for battle. Xerxes ordered the 
Medes to bring him, alive, such of the Greeks who had 
wounded his pride. Some soldiers ran to Leonidas, say- 
ing, " The Persians are near to us." " Say, rather, that 
we approach the Persians," he coolly replied ; and at 
the same instant rushed amid their ranks, and put them 
to route. He overthrew and destroyed the legion known 
by the name of the ten thousand immortals ; and strew- 
ing the plain with dead bodies, caused Xerxes, who wit- 
nessed the defeat of his army, to tremble upon his 

But stratagem and treason flew to the assistance of 
weakness and cowardice. An inhabitant of the moun- 
tains, Ephialtes, a Trachinian, offered to conduct a de- 
tachment of the Persians by a secret path, and to deli- 
ver into their hands their redoubtable enemies, surrounded 
on every side. Xerxes, transported with joy, loaded the 
wretch with presents. He set out, and the next morn- 
ing by break of day the body of invincibles surprised 
the Greeks, and prepared to overwhelm them in their 

Leonidas, informed of their progress, formed then the 


noble resolution which has placed him at the head of the 
greatest heroes in every age. He ordered the allied 
troops to abandon a post which would have become their 
grave, to reserve themselves for more fortunate times, 
and singly with the Spartans, the Thespians, and 400 
Thebans, determined upon the most daring enterprize. 
" In the camp of Xerxes," said he to his companions, 
" we must seek victory or death !" They replied by an 
acclamation of joy. He then ordered a frugal repast, 
adding, " We shall soon take another with Pluto ;" and 
oh the decline of day, he threw himself in the enemies' 
entrenchments. Every thing that opposed his passage 
was overthrown. Night added to the horror of his 
march, and he spread terror into every soul. Xerxes, 
terrified, abandoned his tent; and the Persian army, con- 
ceiving that all the forces of Greece had at length col- 
lected to avenge their wrongs, hastened to escape from 
death, which they received in their eagerness to avoid it. 

The break of day, however, discovering to the Per- 
sians the small numbers of their conquerors, they imme- 
diately formed, and renewed the combat. Leonidas fell 
beneath a shower of arrows. The honour of bearing 
away his body, occasioned a terrible conflict between his 
soldiers and the most daring of the Persian army. Three 
times the Greeks, in their retreat, repulsed their pur- 
suers ; but attacked incessantly by fresh troops, they all 
perished except one man, who was considered a cow- 
ard in Lacedsemon, and who only recovered his honour 
by performing prodigies of valour at the battle of 

The Greeks erected at Thermopyla3 a monument to 
these brave defenders of their country : forty years after- 


wards Pausanias caused the reliques of Leonidas to be 
conveyed to Sparta. Upon the tomb, raised to his me- 
mory, they pronounced every year a funeral oration in 
praise of his valour, and that of his companions in arms; 
and celebrated festivals, called Leonidea, at which only 
the Lacedaemonians were permitted to contend. He 
died about 4S0 years before the Christian era. 



_T"ultr.-. t.Vr..:--"-> 


It required a great painter to trace the origin, the pro- 
gress, and the prodigious success of a people who, in the 
end, governed the rest of the world. What aphenomenon, 
that a city, at first composed of certain refugees, where 
guilt found an asylum, whose alliance was despised by 
their neighbours, who were only able to obtain wives by 
fraud and violence, and who, by the happy influence of 
a constitution applicable to the developement of talents, 
should produce, in six centuries, more illustrious men, 
and more distinguished characters, than all the nations 
combined in the circuit of their existence! 

Rome could not subsist without violent commotions: 
the laws of Numa had been framed for monarchy, they 
became almost useless when she became a republic; an 
aristocracy more imperious and insupportable than royalty 
had usurped its place. The people, oppressed, made 
choice of defenders, while the tribuneship protected liberty 
in the midst of dissentions; and sometimes by the as- 
cendancy of words, sometimes by menaces and seditions, 
prevented Rome from becoming the slave of a nobility, 
who sought in peace, in war, in all intestine or foreign 
dissentions, nothing but the means of maintaining or en- 
creasing their prerogatives. 

Livy found no other succours than indigested annals, 
and insipid chronicles: he thence extracted facts, which 
he embellished by the charms of his eloquence. His 


narrative is rich, abundant, and varied; it gives the pro- 
per colour to the events it recalls, to the passions it re- 
presents, and to the character it depictures. Does he 
relate the combat of the Horatii and the Curiatii, we 
fancy ourselves on the field of battle ; if Rome be pour- 
trayed on the point of surrendering to the Gauls, he 
makes us partake of the gratitude and the admiration of 
the Romans for Camillus, and to sympathize in the fate 
of Manlius; does he paint the triumphs of Marcellus over 
the Syracusans, he ennobles that fortunate hero, by mak- 
ing him weep over the deserters of the capital of Sicily. 
With what felicity of expression does he describe Hannibal 
crossing the Alps ! what majesty does he give to the con- 
ference of the African hero with the magnanimous Scipio ! 
He has all the forms of eloquence, he possesses all the 
riches of elocution, he unites all the qualities of a great 
historian. Unfortunately, there exists only a small por- 
tion of that vast edifice which he raised to the glory of 
Rome: — pieces of uncommon interest are wanting; the 
conspiracies of the Gracchi, which he doubtless so nobly 
detailed, have not reached our hands: we have neither the 
Servilian war, in which despair rendered the slaves so 
great, nor that between Caesar and Pompey, which de- 
cided the destiny of the world. It is certain that Livy 
was not favourable to the Conqueror, since Augustus 
called him a Pompeian, which, of itself, is an incontest- 
ible proof that he was exempt from the censure thrown 
by Machiavelli on the panegyrists of the Dictator. 

Livy is not so great a philosopher, as a good writer; 
an enthusiast in the cause of Rome, all her conquests 
appear lawful ; in his eyes, the tyrants of the world are 
almost its benefactors. We will not reproach him for 
the prodigies he recounts: he unfolds popular tradititions, 


the probability of which he did not give himself time to 
discuss. His political opinions may be easily embraced : 
he shews himself the declared partizan of the senate, and 
the adversary of the Plebeans. In this respect he differs 
from Sallust, who glosses over the vices and the excesses 
of the nobles, and who is never more eloquent than when 
he pourtrays the resentment of the tribunes against the 
pride of illustrious families. 

History furnishes us but with few details of the life of 
this distinguished historian : all that we can confidently 
assert is, that he was born at Padua, about fifty years 
before the christian a?ra. He was neither a warrior nor 
a public character. He passed the greater part of his 
life at Naples and Rome, but more particularly at the 
court of Augustus, who liberally patronized the learned, 
and encouraged the progress of literature. His fame was 
so universally spread, even in his life-time, that an inha- 
bitant of Gades traversed Spain, Gaul, and Italy, merely 
to see the man whose writings had given him so much 
pleasure and satisfaction in the perusal. Only thirty-five 
books of his history, which contained one hundred and 
forty, have descended to us. J. Freinshemius, a learned 
German, of the 17th century, endeavoured, with great 
attention and industry, to supply this immense chasm by 
supplements, which are incorporated with the existing 
books. The third decade seems to be superior to the 
others, yet the author has not scrupled to copy from his 
cotemporaries and predecessors, particularly Polybius, 
who has, however, shewn himself more informed in mili- 
tary affairs, and superior to his imitator. Livy died at 
Padua, in the 67th year of his age, A. D. 17. 

In point of grandeur of subject, and majesty of style, 


Livy may be compared to Herodotus; but he surpasses 
the Greek historian in eloquence, colouring, and force. 

The best editions of Livy, are those of Maittaire, 6 
vols. 12mo. London, 1722; of Drakenborch, 7 vols. 4to. 
Amst. 1738;- and of Ruddiman, 4 vols. 12mo. Edin. 1751. 


._ /K . .WL: . JSiiV J 


--'"'■ i 

U"~~m:^» ! i^^^p> 

.■ . ■ - 


The particulars of the life of this accomplished, but 
unfortunate monarch, and the circumstances attending 
his deplorable fate, have been already so minutely de- 
tailed, as to render it less a subject of regret, that the 
limits of our publication will permit us only to give a brief 
and rapid sketch of the events of a reign, which gave 
birth to a revolution, the most important in its conse- 
quences recorded in the history of civilized nations. 

Louis the sixteenth of the name, was born at Versailles, 
on the 23d of August, 1754. He was the second son of 
Louis, dauphin, who died in 1765, and ascended the 
throne in the year 1774, upon the death of his grand- 
father, Louis XV. He had not attained the age of 2 1, 
when he assumed the reins of government, having pre- 
viously married the daughter of Marie-Therese, Marie- 
Antoinette, of Austria, then the object of the idolatry of 
the French. 

Louis XV. left behind him ministers who were hated 
and despised. He had suppressed the parliaments, and 
exiled the members : the finances were in a deplorable 
state, and the public discontented in the extreme : added 
to which, an indifference in matters of religion had suc- 
ceeded the quarrels of the Jansenists and the Molinists, 
and opinions of the most dangerous tendency, on all sides, 
manifested themselves. The spirit of reform and liberty, 
which fermented in every head, and developed itself in 

LOUIS XVI. [f&ance. 

all works that issued from the press, seduced even the 
monarch, whose authority it condemned. The young 
prince called into administration Malesherbes and Tur- 
got, two virtuous and enlightened men, but devoted to 
new opinions. Dazzled, like themselves, by a specious 
theory, he judged the hearts of his subjects after his 
own, and that of his two ministers, and made it a prin- 
ciple of his conduct to sacrifice every thing for the wel- 
fare of his people. He remitted the tax, known by the 
name of joyeux avtnement, abolished personal servitude 
in his dominions, and statute labour throughout his king- 
dom. He opened the state prisons, and recalled the par- 
liaments. This last proceeding, which seemed to convey 
a tacit reproach on the act of Louis XV, encouraged in 
this formidable body a dangerous spirit of opposition. 
Louis XVI. solely occupied with the prospect of re-esta- 
blishing order in the finances, lessened the number of 
pensions, diminished considerably the national debt, and 
consented to the suppression of a great part of the mili- 
tary establishment of his houshold. He also abolished 
preparatory torture in all criminal proceedings, and set 
on foot the establishment of Monts de Pitte in France. 

While he was thus employed in restoring order in his 
finances, the English colonies of America, then in a state 
of revolt against the mother country, implored the assist- 
ance of France. Louis XVI. sacrificing his private opi- 
nion to that of his council, acknowledged their inde- 
pendence : a formidable marine was, in an instant, created 
to support that proceeding. The war which followed, 
was not, at times, inglorious to the French army, but 
the finances were exhausted. It ri vetted the long-exist- 
ing animosity between the two nations of France and 
England; and the French officers, who had been engaged 


in the war of the United States, brought from thence 
the principles of republicanism, incompatible with a des- 
potic government. 

Previous to this epocha, Louis XVI. had bestowed 
particular attention to the commerce and the navy of 
France. He adopted the project of establishing a port 
and a bason at Cherburgh, to which place he repaired to 
visit the works. It was on this occasion, that, penetrated 
to the bottom of his heart with the testimonies of affec- 
tion and respect received from his subjects, in a letter 
he wrote to the queen he declared he was " the happiest 
monarch in the universe." But the emotions of felicity he 
experienced, were of short duration. 

The treaty of commerce which had been concluded 
with England, on the peace of 1783, had long excited 
general discontent ; this was increased by the knowledge 
of the disordered state of the finances. The loans had 
multiplied to an alarming extent : new methods were ne- 
cessary to raise the supplies; a national bankruptcy was 
even apprehended, when the king, at the representations 
of M. de Calonne, convoked an assembly of the nobles 
to remedy the evil, who rejected the plans proposed. The 
Cardinal de Brienne, who directed the finances, thought 
to be able to carry by force, what his predecessor, Ca- 
lonne, had attempted in vain by persuasion. The par- 
liament refused to enregister his pecuniary edicts, and 
demanded-the calling of the states general. Louis acced- 
ing to lhe s 'popular opinion, immediately ordered their 
convocation. Believing himself beloved, because he de- 
served to be so, he disregarded all personal sacrifices, 
desirous of establishing his power on the basis of public 
good. The impolicy of this measure, not at first fore^- 


LOUIS XVI. [franc*. 

seen, was greatly aggravated by the imprudence of 
Necker, who had been recalled into administration, in 
granting to the third estate a number of representatives, 
equal to that of the two other orders. It was at this 
epoch that some deputies of the third state of Brittany, 
admitted to an audience, having thrown themselves on 
their knees before the king, he hastily raised them, ad- 
dressing to them these words, worthy of Titus, Levez 
vous : ce nest point a mes pieds quest la place de mes enfans. 
The states opened on the 5th of May, 1789, and on the 
3 7th of June following, the third estate constituted itself 
, into a national assembly. Louis XVI. after having ex- 
erted himself, without effect, to oppose this measure, re- 
quired that the clergy and the nobility should unite with 
that assembly. " Je ne veux pas" said he upon that occa- 
sion, " quun seal homme ptrisse pour ma querelle." This 
last expression maybe considered as forming the basis of 
his conduct, of his generous weakness, and of all his 
misfortunes. Become daring now with impunity, Mira- 
beau and others excited the populace of Paris to insur- 
rection. They possessed themselves of the bastile on the 
14th of July, and three days after the king went to the 
Hotel de Fille, to announce the recal of M. Necker, and 
the dismissal of the troops, whose approach to the capi- 
tal had given umbrage to the deputies. All the king- 
dom was now in arms, after the example of the capital. 
On the 5th of October, under a vain pretext, the popu- 
lace, armed with pikes and other weapons, went to Ver- 
sailles, and besieged the palace. A scene the most 
shocking to humanity then ensued. The kina:, faithful 
to his principles, preserving his usual serenity of mind, 
ordered his body guards to retire, and delivering himself 
and his family to their protection, was conducted to 
Paris. Before his carriage, by way of trophy, they bore 


the bleeding heads of several of his guards. From that 
moment the palaee of the Tuileries, where his residence 
was appointed, might be considered as a prison, in which 
the royal family, guarded by the Parisian troops, and 
deprived gradually of all those who venerated their per- 
sons, daily experienced new indignities. Sensible, at 
length, that it was no longer possible for him to govern a 
state so extensive as France, by the feeble means which 
had been left at his disposal ; foreseeing new persecutions, 
and anxious to preserve his family from outrage, Louis 
resolved, on the night of the 20th June, 1791, to quit the 
kingdom : but this enterprise failed. He was recognized 
at Varennes, and brought back to Paris as a criminal. 

The result of this event was his acceptance of the con- 
stitution ; and, although it was evidently by constraint, he 
still proposed to himself scrupulously to observe every 
thing which had been imposed upon him. Among other 
ordinances, it submitted all the laws to his sanction. On 
the 19th of June, 1792, however, upon the decree for the 
transportation of the clergy, he renounced the oaths he 
had taken. The following day the Tuileries was again 
invested by an enraged and sanguinary populace. The 
king opened the gates to them, and with a serene aspect 
exclaimed, " Je ne crois pas avoir rien a craindre des Fran- 
cois. His composure disarmed his assassins, who, after 
subjecting the monarch to every species of menace and 
insult, in the end retired, without doing him any personal 

The occurrences of this day gave the king a presage of 
jiis approaching fate. From that moment he expected 
his destruction, and prepared his family for the endurance 
of new misfortunes. A fresh storm was soon excited. 


On the 10th of August, the populace instigated, and up- 
held by bands of pretended Marsellois, kept in pay for 
the purpose of massacres, by the factions of Chabot and 
Danton, covered the Carrousel, and attacked the palace^ 
They even pointed cannon against the Tuileries. In this 
critical situation it only remained with the king to fly or 
perish at his post. He resolved for himself and family to 
seek an asylum in the bosom of the legislative assembly. 
He dispatched an order to the Swiss guards, and to the 
small number of his faithful subjects who had assembled 
in his defence, not to make further resistance, and in a 
few moments he heard pronounced the suspension of his 
power, and his imprisonment in the temple, while the 
rabble pillaged his palace, and put the Swiss guards to the 

If Louis XVI. had been w r eak and irresolute upon 
the throne, he was great and dignified under misfortune. 
Shut up in the tower of the temple, deprived of every 
thing except a few books, employed in the education of 
his son, in affording consolation to his wife, and in 
strengthening his own mind by the duties of religion, sur- 
rounded on all sides by witnesses, and exposed to every 
species of vexation and outrage, he presented at all 
times an example of the most affecting resignation. His- 
tory has preserved many details of his captivity, which 
we cannot here repeat. He at times appeared to forget 
his misfortunes, and to pardon the authors of them* 
Soon after being put upon his trial by the convention, he 
appeared at the bar of the assembly, defended himself 
with dignity, and heard with philosophical composure the 
sentence of his condemnation. 

The zeal, the ability, and respectful attachment of his? 


advocates are well known, but all their eloquence and 
their efforts were of no avail. His death had heen re- 
solved upon before a word had been uttered in his justi- 
fication. M. de Malesherbes, who had been formerly the 
minister of Louis XVI. and who considered it a duty to 
quit his retreat, and defend his master, disclosed to the 
unfortunate monarch the destiny that awaited him. The 
prince, whom in that moment he discovered in an atti- 
tude of meditation, turned to him, and said, " I have for 
these two hours been endeavouring to recollect whether, 
in the whole course of my reign, I have merited the 
slightest reproach from my subjects: I swear to you, in 
all the sincerity of my heart, as a man who must shortly 
appear before my God, that I have constantly desired the 
welfare of my people, and that I never formed a wish 
which had a contrary tendency." This testimony which 
Louis rendered to himself was just: but he had but an 
imperfect knowledge of mankind, and the weakness of 
his character gave rise to evils of a more serious descrip- 
tion than w r ould have resulted from the most violent 
passions in another prince. 

On the c 20th of January, 179S, Louis heard his sen- 
tence read to him with great composure, and communi- 
cated it himself to his family, to arm them with resigna- 
tion. At midnight he heard mass : immediately after- 
wards he threw himself upon a bed, and slept soundly. 
Id the morning he was still asleep when the faithful 
Clery came to awake and dress him for the last time. At 
eight o'clock he quitted his apartments to be conducted 
to the scaffold. Placed in a coach, with his confessor the 
Abbe Edgeworth, and two gend'armes, he was two hours 
before he reached the square of Louis XV. Having 
ascended the scaffold, he refused to have his hands tied, 


saying, " Je suis sur de moi," and turning round, attempt- 
ed to address the populace, when the beating of drums 
overpowered his voice, and prevented his proceeding. 
" Allezjih de St. Louis, montez an ciel" exclaimed at that 
instant his confessor, with enthusiasm, and immediately 
after his head was severed from his body. His remains 
were then conveyed to the burying ground of the Mag- 
daleine, and consumed with quick lime, according to an 
order of the Convention. His will, which was read in the 
sitting of the commune, on the day of his execution, is 
no less admirable for simplicity and dignity of expression 
than for the grandeur of the sentiment, and the pious re- 
signation with which it abounds. This amiable prince 
terminated his earthly career on the 21st of January, 

If Louis possessed all the private virtues incident to 
humanity ; if he was a good husband and a good father; 
it must be confessed he was often too confident with re- 
spect to his ministers, who frequently abused the autho- 
rity with which they were invested. Simple in his habits, 
he was fond of labour and rational enjoyment : as free 
from ostentation as from inordinate passions, the exer- 
cise of hunting, and the study of the mechanical arts 
formed his sole delight. He possessed a perfect know- 
ledge of history, and was, perhaps, the best geographer 
in France: he spoke the Latin language with purity, and 
had attained considerable fluency in the English. His 
style of writing was easy and natural, and not destitute of 
force. This prince presents an example, that per- 
sonal qualities, however amiable, are not sufficient to go- 
vern well, and that the desire of doing good is a mere 
negative virtue, without the power of carrying it into 

l'.v?iZ-:.i av ikteTrn. 

ZonAx>TU\PuilLs}utL~by .7 

Ii$k3 ;Ai> • 


Honore-Gabriel de Riqueti Count Mira- 
beau was born at Aix, in 1749, and was son of the 
Marquis of Mirabeau, author of the Ami des Hommes, 
and one of the chiefs of the sect of the ceconomists. 
This apostle of public liberty was the tyrant of his family, 
and was perhaps by his harshness one of the principal 
causes of the irregularities and vices of his son. The 
impetuous youth of this latter was agitated by the most 
violent passions. Returning to his country after having 
served some time in Corsica, he at the age of twenty- 
five, undertook to carry off a young lady of interesting 
appearance, from the person to whom she was promised 
in marriage. Being little scrupulous about the means of 
accomplishing his object, he made use of calumny ; and in 
a little time she who was the object of it had no other 
way to save her reputation, but to marry the man who had 
tarnished it. It was impossible that this union could be 
happy : the misconduct and dissipated life of Mirabeau, 
induced his father to take the most rigorous steps against 
him, and even to cause him to be banished. At the 
age of twenty-five, in consequence of a private quarrel, 
he was first shut up in the castle of If, afterwards in the 
castle of Joux in Franche Comte. Making an ill use of 
some relaxation of his captivity, he seduced the wife of a 
magistrate of the Province, and fled with her to Hol- 
land. He was condemned to death for this crime: 

MIRABEAU. [france. 

being arrested by surprise in 1777, he was again im- 
prisoned in the dungeon of Vincennes. 

It was then that the whole vehemence of his charac- 
ter and imagination led him to study ; but, ever agitated 
by his passions, they directed his choice in the objects 
of his labours. He translated Tibullus, the Bacia of Jo- 
hannes Secundus, and some other erotic poems. The 
correspondence which he kept up while in prison with 
the woman he seduced, has many beauties, but the 
writer gives himself up without any reserve to all the 
impetuosity and delirium of passion. It may be al- 
ledged in excuse for him, that these letters were never 
intended for publication, and that the impropriety of 
having given them entire is to be attributed to the 
editor {Manuel) and to the time of which they were 
published, in 171)2, an epoch in which a respect for 
modesty and decency was considered as a want of 

Being set at liberty in 1780, he published two years 
afterwards, his work on Lettres de Cachet and State 
Prisons. This work, although diffuse, made a great 
impression on the public mind, in which those ideas of 
liberty were fomented, which soon shewed themselves. 
Not long after this Mirabeau was employed by the 
ministry on a secret mission to Prussia. He there 
was a witness of the last moments of Frederick the Great, 
and of the beginning of the reign of his successor, 
whose character and weaknesses he unveiled in his 
secret history of the court of Berlin, a libel whicfc 
appeared in 17B0. 

franceJ MIRABEAU. 

Eager to engage in troubles, Mirabeau sought to 
kindle dissentions in Holland and Brabant, by his Address 
to the Batavians, and his Letter to Joseph II. when the 
agitations which began to take place in France, recalled 
him there to take a part in them. 

Rejected by the nobility of Provence, on the election 
of the deputies to the states general in 1789, like an- 
other Clodius, he renounced the rights his birth entitled 
him to, and got himself elected by the tiers etat of the 
city of Aix. To render himself formidable to the 
court, and to revenge himself for its having tried to 
prevent his nomination, from the opening of the States 
General, he ventured to oppose the royal authority, was 
not afraid to announce his projects against it, and the 
first orders of the state, and directed the French revo- 
lution from the commencement of it. He promoted 
the reunion of the three orders, and declared himself 
openly in insurrection, almost in the king's presence, 
in the sitting of the 23d of June, by replying to the 
grand master of the ceremonies, who brought to the 
assembly the order for them to separate. " Go tell 
those who send you, that we will not quit our places 
until compelled by the bayonet." This famous answer 
pointed out to the monarch the only method which re- 
mained for him to save both his crown and his life. 
But whether from irresolution, or respect for the inviola- 
bility with w r hich the asssembly, on the motion of the 
court, had invested the deputies, the king did nothing 
to curb his disobedience ; and Mirabeau, increasing in 
audacity, in proportion as the court displayed weakness, 
caused the assembly to demand that the troops which 
surrounded Paris should be sent away, the ministers dis- 

MIRABEAU. [france. 

missed, and determined on the formation of the national 


A powerful voice, a warmth of thought and expres- 
sion, calculated to gain over his hearers, an extreme 
audacity, joined to a most extraordinary presence of 
mind ; in fine, every thing in an orator which could con- 
tribute to dazzle the multitude, such were the means 
which confirmed to Mirabeau the empire of the tribune 
to his latest day. He there discussed the principal 
questions of public right, and of the different parts of 
government; he caused the possessions of the clergy to 
be declared the property of the nation, decreed new 
emissions of assignats ; he spoke of the royal sanction, 
on the right of making peace and war, on the regency, 
on the succession to the throne; in a word there was 
no important business came before the assembly on 
which he did not make some speech. He also took a 
very active part in all the great events which then 
were passing, and was accused by the chdtelet, in the 
very midst of the assembly, of having been one of the 
principal instigators of the famous business of the 6th of 
October. The decree given in his favour on this occa- 
sion, far from justifying him in the public opinion, 
served only to shew the great power he possessed, and 
the dispositions of the majority of his colleagues. At 
length, after having sapped all the foundations of the 
throne, terrified perhaps at his work, he seemed to wish 
to oppose some barrier to the torrent the dykes of which he 
had broken, when a sudden and violent illness carried him 
off in three days, at the age of forty-two. He died the 2d 
of April 1791. All the theatres were shut; the whole 
assembly attended his funeral, his body was deposited in 

france.] MIRABEAU. 

the pantheon, and his bust placed in the hall, where the 
legislative body held its meetings. Two years had 
scarcely elapsed after these honours had been paid to 
his memory, when, by a decree of the convention, his 
remains were removed to make room for those of Marat, 
while his bust was burned by the populace. We may 
conjecture from this what would have been the fate of Mi- 
rabeau had his existence been prolonged, and how ill- 
founded the hope was which his supposed change had 
given rise to in the minds of the royalists. It is very 
doubtful, whether his eloquence, all-powerful as it was, 
when it was necessary to flatter the people, and render 
them ungovernable, would have maintained the same 
ascendency when its object would have been to restore 
order and re-establish the royal authority ; it is much more 
probable, that after having shaken the most ancient 
throne in Europe, and prepared its downfall, Mirabeau 
would have perished on the scaffold, by order of some of 
the demagogues formed in his own school. The speeches 
of Mirabeau have been preserved ; but stripped of the fire 
and action which his delivery gave them, they have lost 
much of their value. Moreover, the pleasure to be de- 
rived from reading a number of pieces remarkable for 
their strength of thought and expression, is not suffi- 
ciently lively to efface the misfortunes which those 
speeches have occasioned, nor even to repay the mourn- 
ful feelings we experience on seeing a man of such elo- 
quence abuse the gift of speech, perfidiously to set off to 
advantage vain theories, the inutility and danger of which 
no one knew better than himself, and only using his ta- 
lents wilfully, to occasion the ruin of his king and fellow- 
citizens, and the overthrow of his countr} T . 


Laharpe and other writers have drawn the character 
of this famous orator, whom, if we please, we may call a 
o-reat man, but woe to the country and age that may pro- 
duce a number of great men like him. 

En/rrayed. h 

.'■,""."... ? ." ■ K'/Tzsr Hood & Sharpe Paula ■ .' 


Chretien Guillaume de Lamoignon dE 
Malesherbes, the son of the Chancellor de Lamoig- 
non, grandson of the president de Lamoignon, the friend 
of Boileau and Racine, and great grandson of the first 
president de Lamoignon, the Ariste of the Lutrin, was 
born on the 6th of December, 1721. After having com- 
pleted with much distinction, his course of humanity 
among the Jesuits, where he had for preceptor the Abbe 
de Radonvilliers, who was afterwards his colleague at 
the French academy, Monsieur de Malesherbes devoted 
himself, like his ancestors, to the study of the law. At 
the age of twenty, he commenced his judicial career as 
deputy attorney-generuL Three years afterwards he was 
admitted a counsel to the parliament, and at twenty-five 
he succeeded his father, who was made chancellor, in the 
office of first president of the Court of Aids. This was 
taking upon himself, at an early age, and under very diffi- 
cult circumstances, the duty of defending the fortune 
of the state, and the rights of the people, against finan- 
ciers, contractors, ministers, proposers of taxes, and pre- 
varicators of every kind. M. de Malesherbes acquitted 
himself during twenty-five years, with infinite credit in 
this arduous employ, and the talents, the perseverance, 
and the courage he displayed, gained him the love and 
affection of the nation. 

In the year 1779, there was printed, under the title of 
Met/wires pour servir a I'Histoire du droit publique de la 


MALESHERBES. [france. 

Trance en matiere aVlmpots, a collection of speeches 
and remonstrances, composed by him during the long 
struggle between despotism and taxation. These are 
so many solid and learned works upon the different 
parts of the administration of the finances: they pre- 
sent particularly an extraordinary model of the art of 
speaking truth to the prince, without dissimulation and 
exaggeration, without weakness or irreverence, with a 
tranquil firmness, a force of reasoning almost irresistible, 
with an eloquence sometimes tender and persuasive, 
sometimes animated and imposing : and at the same 
time with all those regards which prudence and reason 
dictate towards those whom he was compelled to attack, 
or rather those against whom he was compelled to de- 
fend himself. We there find, at every moment, great 
and important truths expressed with a conciseness that 
doubles their power and utility. " The liberality of 
princes only enriches the courtier — his refusals form the 
riches of the people."—" No one is so exalted as to be 
sheltered from the hatred of a minister, nor sufficiently 
debased not to be worthy of that of a clerk." Such were 
some of his political axioms. His fine remonstrances 
of the year 1771, are justly celebrated. Voltaire, who 
was then solicitous to please the chancellor, Maupeou, 
undertook, but in vain, to refute them : they triumphed 
over that formidable attack, divided even the court itself, 
and were equally applauded by men of the world and 
by men of letters. Some time after M. de Malesherbes 
falling with the company of which he had so long 
been the organ, expiated his success by three years of 
disgrace and exile. The evening before the arrival of 
the Lettre de Cachet, which deprived him of his func- 
tions, he said to one of his friends, " In so many 
battles fought with such disadvantages, I never received 


a wound. " Retired to Malesherbes, where he gave an 
asylum to several of his late associates, this worthy ma- 
gistrate devotediVimself entirely to his taste for study and 
-agricultural pursuits. He cultivated his garden, collect- 
ed foreign plants, familiarized them to the climate, 
shed upon them the sun of France, and lived as a private 
man, a scholar, and a philosopher, in learned leisure — 
docta per otia. 

In the year 1774, upon the re-establishment of the 
sovereign courts, Mi de Malesherhes appeared for a short 
time at the head of the Court of Aids, with a view 
of recommending the love of peace and a generous ob- 
livion of the past. Soon after a command from Louis 
XVI. joined to the repeated solicitations of his virtuous 
friend Turgot, determined him to enter again into admi- 
nistration. He succeeded M. de la Vrilliere in the de- 
partment, of the court and of Paris, which he only 
retained nine months, but during which period many 
abuses were removed. His first care was to empty the 
state prisons ; after which he established an amicable 
tribunal, composed of men of virtue and probity, in order 
to judge in what cases Lettres de Cachet, and Lettres de 
Siwseance, were absolutely necessary. The enemy of all 
rigid reform, he was desirous that nothing should be 
rooted up, even in matters that promised to be pro- 
ductive of good. In 1776, the dismissal of M. Turgot 
induced M. de Malesherhes to retire from administra- 
tion, and to return to his farm. Ten years afterwards 
some particular occurrences recalled him a second time 
to the council. This he attended unaccompanied by any 
office, and had again an opportunity of promoting the 
public welfare. To him his country is indebted for one 
of the acts which reflected the Greatest honour on the 

MALESHERBES. [france. 

reign of Louis XVI. that which gave to the protestants 
the title and a portion of the rights of a citizen. M. de 
Malesherbes opposed, as much as it was possible, the 
measures adopted by the Archbishop of Toulouse. 
Foreseeing the crisis which the errors of administration, 
and the disorder in the finances, were about to produce, 
he composed two pamphlets, one Sur la necessite et les 
mot/ens, de diminuer les depenses, the other Sur la situation 
presente des affaires; but perceiving that he could not 
enter into the political views of the minister, without 
having a particular conference with the king; and as 
he imagined that it was the duty of those who are of the 
national councils to make the public believe that they 
inviolably approve the deliberations there adopted, he 
felt himself again compelled to retire. 

To return to private life was to him only a change of 
labour. From his youth, and in the midst of the most 
important occnpations,he had always cultivated with simi- 
lar devotion, literature, the sciences, and the useful arts. 
Informed of every thing, and most deeply informed, he 
was even superior to men of letters, from the pene- 
tration, the sagacity, the vivacity, the warmth, and the 
gaiety of his mind ; as he was to the greater part of the 
learned, by the variety, the extent, the solidity of his ac- 
quirements, increased and embellished by native genius. 
Different from so many men, whom their knowledge over- 
powers, he had so incorporated his erudition into his 
very substance, that his mind was no more embarrassed 
than his body with its apparent weight. M. de Males- 
herbes, during the life-time of his father, had had the 
care of the library : it was truly the golden age of letters 
in France. During his administration literature assumed 
a great character of utility, in elevating itself to the po- 

france.] MALESHERBES. 

liticai sciences, in producing a number of excellent 
works upon agriculture, commerce, the finances, and bj 
a natural consequence, upon the different branches of 
the administration. It was under his auspices that the 
Encyclopedia appeared, the grandest and most com- 
prehensive literary monument of the last century. The 
partizan of a discreet liberty, a sincere admirer of real 
talent, zealous for the progress of reason, a stranger to 
every species of sect, to all kind of prejudice and 
pretension, M. de Malesherbes was an example of 
perfect toleration : all parties, therefore, after having 
complained of him alternately, concluded by acknow- 
ledging and admiring the wisdom of his deportment. 
The three principal academies of Paris called him suc- 
cessively into their body : and no one more truly merited 
that triple honour, so rarely bestowed, than himself: no 
one carried into literary commerce more amenity, in its 
labours more enthusiasm, into its discussions more mo- 
desty, united with more intelligence. When he was con- 
sulted, his first expression always was, " 1 am ignorant 
of the general opinion on a subject that has not been 
the particular object of my studies ; only — and this only 
usually produced a learned dissertation and a satisfactory 

M. de Malesherbes has written upon all sorts of sub- 
jects, although he published but a very few works ; 
among which are two admirable Memoir -es sur les Man- 
ages des Protestans. Out of deference to Buffon he could 
not be persuaded to put to the press some observations 
he had made on the first volumes of his Natural History; 
the principal object of which was to vindicate Linneus, 
and some other naturalists, ill-treated by that celebrated 
author. They were suffered to remain above forty years 

MALESHERBES. [france. 

in manuscript; being only printed in the year 1798. It 
is an object greatly to be desired, that his other consi- 
derable works, on important branches of the administra- 
tion, should be likewise published; in which this profound 
civilian, uniting 10 his vast knowledge the results of his 
experience and meditation, established so many excel- 
lent principles, and proposed so many useful reforms. 
In these, as in his Memoir es sur les Protestans, M. de 
Malesherbes distinguishes himself by a learned, luminous, 
and moderate discussion ; no trace of that false con- 
tempt which political writers ordinarily affect for the 
objections they refute, of that mania to condemn as ab- 
surd e\ T evy thing which deviates from their own opinion: 
the research for truth is at all times accompanied with 
so much candour — a regard for the public welfare is so 
visibly imprinted upon them- — the rights of reason, of 
justice and humanity, are exposed and defended in a 
tone so amiable, so persuasive, that if we were able to 
resist the force of his arguments, we must necessarily 
yield to the charm of virtue. 

It seems, in fact, that in this singular man all the quali- 
ties of the heart were combined to exalt the brilliancy of 
his talents. Learned, without ostentation; philoso- 
phical, without austerity ; wise, tender, upright, and 
affectionate; delicate and refined in his pleasures, no 
one carried to a greater extent the exercise of all the do- 
mestic virtues. The enemy of arbitrary power, he devoted 
his public life to defend the oppressed ; beneficent, with- 
out prodigality, he sacrificed his private fortune to assist 
the indigent. This was more than once greatly reduced : 
*' What would you have had me done? they were so truly 
miserable ;" was his constant reply to those who censured 
his benevolence. Although \wy laborious, and always 

trance.] MALESHERBES. 

busied in important occupations, M. de Malesherbes 
was fond of society, saw a great deal of company, and 
was even extremely polite. He was wholly unacquainted 
with that presidential haughtiness which is called dignity : 
remote from all affectation as from all asperity, he was 
affable, natural, and simple; but through the veil of a 
sprightly and erudite simplicity, his vast superiority was 
apparent. The activity of his imagination, the richness 
of his memory, the accuracy of his judgment, the habi- 
tual serenity of his mind, his tender gaiety, his affect- 
ing good nature, even his occasional eccentricities', gave 
a peculiar charm to his conversation. To add to the 
abundance of his knowledge, he travelled through his 
native country and the neighbouring states, preserving 
always the incognito; and like Germanicus, enjoying his 
reputation, and the pleasure of hearing his eulogium 
from tongues the least suspected. 

In fine, what rarely happens to the most virtuous men, 
the death of M. de Maiesherbes was worthy of his life. 
Estranged from all the events of a revolution, of which 
he had long foreseen the fatal results ; he was terminat- 
ing quietly his career, occupied with projects useful to 
agriculture, when the disastrous fate of Louis XVT. called 
him from his labours. He learnt that that unfortu- 
nate prince was to be tried by the Convention; and 
consulting only the dictates of his heart, offered him 
self to defend him. " I have been twice called to 
the councils of him who was my master," (he wrote to 
the president of the Convention,) " at a time when that 
function was the object of general ambition : I owe to 
him the same service, now that the office is esteemed by 
many peculiarly dangerous." The king forgot, for a 
moment, his deplorable destiny, in pressing to his bosom 

MALESHERBES. [franc*- 

his faithful and generous friend. The issue of the trial 
is well known. 

Having fulfilled, at the age nearly of seventy-two, a 
most painful and perilous duty, M. de Malesherbes re- 
turned, his mind rent with anguish, to his rural habita- 
tion. But he could not long escape the proscription 
pronounced against every one that was virtuous. His 
atrocious persecutors were even desirous that the death of 
the best of men should be the most cruel and the most 
afflicting. Arrested at the same moment with his daugh- 
ter, his son-in-law, and their children, imprisoned with 
them ; the refined barbarity of the jailors compelled him 
to witness the execution of those for whom he would 
a thousand times have sacrificed life. After having paid 
to nature the tribute of sensibility— after having bestowed 
upon his children the consolation so necessary in those 
difficult moments, he still gave them an example of 
composure, and the fortitude of a good man struggling 
against misfortune. On his charge of accusation being 
tendered to him he read it coolly, and folding it up, said, 
" They ought, at least, to have made it more probable;" and 
no longer occupied himself with it. He was immediately 
condemned ; and his hands tied, he marched towards his 
grave. At the moment he passed the threshold of his 
prison, his foot struck against a stone. " This," said he, 
smiling, " is an unlucky omen. A Roman, in my situa- 
tion, would have gone back." Every thing was heroic in 
this illustrious family. Memory will long cherish the 
sublime and affecting words addressed by Madame de 
Rosambo, his daughter, to Mademoiselle de Sombreuil. 
" You have had the happiness of saving the life of your 
father; I shall, at least, enjoy the consolation of dying 
with mine." M. de Malesherbes perished on the 2£d of 
April, 1793. 

•J oj' : : .v;ys isofc 

• i '..'.- 


Caius Plinius Secundus was born at Verona, 
under the reign of Tiberius. In his youth he bore arms 
with considerable reputation; after which he was ad- 
mitted to the college of Augurs. He discharged, with 
extreme, fidelity, the duties of other posts to which he 
was appointed, without neglecting the friendship or 
intercourse with tne princes under whom he lived. Ves- 
pasian appointed him governor of Spain, where he con- 
ducted himself with strict integrity, devoting the day to 
public affairs, and the night to study. His mind was 
stored with various knowledge, and he was an inquisitive 
observer of the works of nature. To this spirit of cu- 
riosity he sacrificed his life. Lying at Misenum, with a 
fleet which he commanded, he was surprised at an extra- 
ordinary cloud issuing from Vesuvius; he immediately 
put to sea, and landed at the foot of the mountain, to 
ascertain the cause of the phenomenon ; but the sulphu- 
reous exhalation from the burning lava overcame him, 
and he was suffocated, A. 1). 79- The circumstances of 
his death are related by the Younger Pliny, in a letter to 
the historian Tacitus. 

Of all the writings of Pliny, none remains but his Na- 
tural History ; a work of wonderful erudition, and as ex- 
tensive and varied as nature itself. Independently of his 
history of animals, of plants, and minerals, it compre- 
hends the history of heaven and earth, of physic, com- 
merce, navigation, the history of the mechanical and 



liberal arts, the origin of customs; in short, of all the 
natural sciences, and all human discoveries. It is the 
most valuable repertory of the knowledge of antiquity, 
and justly deserves to be called the Encyclopedia of the 

The eloquence which Pliny has displayed in his work ; 
the imagination which colours and animates his style, 
give it a distinguished place amcng the writers of the 
second century of Roman literature : but he does not ex- 
hibit either the purity or the admirable simplicity of the 
Augustan age. His principal character is vivacity and 
energy; but he carries his boldness sometimes too far: 
his thoughts exceed frequently the boundaries of truth ; 
he sinks often into declamation, and becomes harsh and 
obscure in aiming at precision and force. 

The best editions of this work are that of Hardouin, at 
Paris, in 1723, 3 vols, folio; and that of Brotier, 1779, 
6 vols. 12mo. It has been translated into English by 
Philemon Holland. 




Cjecilius Plinius SEcuNDUS,surnamedtheyottwger, 
was born at Rome in the year 61 or 6 C 2, of J. C. He 
was the nephew of Pliny the naturalist, and received the 
usual education of the Roman nobility. 

His master was the celebrated Quintilian, and of all his 
disciples Pliny did him the most honour. The gratitude 
of the scholar equalled the talents of the illustrious pro- 

Sent into Syria at the head of a legion, he rendered 
himself remarkable by the precision with which he ful- 
filled his various duties. Upon his return to Rome, Pliny 
the naturalist, was delighted to find those qualities in a 
nephew, which he would have desired in a son, and 
adopted him. 

A distinction so glorious, only tended to animate Pliny 
in his laudable pursuits. He was sensible of the honour 
he had received, and of the responsibility it carried with 
it. Persuaded that great names reflect disgrace on those 
who are unworthy of them, he neglected nothing that 
might contribute to render his own celebrated by poste- 
rity, taking his uncle as his model. 

Pliny did not long enjoy the happiness of his instruc- 
tion. He was scarcely eighteen, when his uncle perished 
in his arms, in an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He fell 



a victim to his curiosity and extraordinary attachment to 
science. In one of his letters to Tacitus, the adopted 
son of Pliny, the naturalist, has transmitted to posterity 
the details of an event that snatched this great man from 
his country, his family, and the sciences, which owe so 
much to his industry and meditation. 

- Destitute, of support, Pliny, reflecting on his own 
resources, turned his attention solely to public affairs. 
At the age of nineteen, he pleaded in the forum, with an 
eloquence equal to that of the greatest orators of his 
time, and was honoured with peculiar marks of approba- 
tion from all descriptions of persons. 

But of all the brilliant actions of Pliny, no one did 
him so much credit as his undertaking the defence of his 
friend Helvidius, who had been condemned to death 
through the accusation of Publicius Certus. After the 
death of Domitian, he requested of the senate permission 
to arraign the infamous informer. In this expedient, he 
was neither restrained by the immense credit, nor by the 
riches of Publicius; much less did he shrink from his ob- 
ject by the fear of any enemies, which this line of con- 
duct might create. In vain his friends admonished him 
that by such proceedings he would render himself ob- 
noxious to all future emperors ; he had the firmness to 
reply to them, " So much the better, provided they are 
wicked emperors." In short, when he had occasion to 
speak, he expressed himself with so much force and ani- 
mation, that if the clemency of the new emperor pre- 
served Publicius Certus from punishment, his justice, at 
least, indicated the sense he entertained of his unworthi- 
ness, by excluding him from the consulship, to which he 
had been elected. 


Pliny rose gradually by his own merit, to the first of- 
fices of state. He was successively Tribune of the peo- 
ple — Prefect of the public treasure — Consul — Governor 
of Pontus and Bithynia — Overseer of the iEmylian way 
■ — and at length, Augur ; a species of sacerdotal dignity 
which continued during life. 

When invested with the consular dignity, Pliny, at the 
desire of the Senate, and the Roman people, pronounced 
that fine oration, which is extant, entitled " the Pane- 
gyric on Trajan." It is an eternal monument of the ta- 
lents and gratitude of its author. In reading this cele- 
brated harangue we can scarcely say which is the more to 
be admired, the prince who merited such an eulogy, or 
the orator who delivered it. 

After his consulship, Pliny was chosen governor of Bi- 
thynia. In this new employ, he distinguished himself by 
his goodness, his justice, and his humanify . On his return 
he resumed his favourite occupations. It was about this 
time, it is conceived, he re-married. He lost his first 
wife during the defence of Helvidius. Calpurnia, who 
succeeded her, was as much celebrated for her wit as her 
beauty. He found no difficulty in instilling into her mind a 
taste for the belles lettres : this predilection became of it- 
self a passion, but this she so blended with the attach- 
ment she evinced for her husband, that we can scarcely 
say whether she loved Pliny for his literary attainments, 
or literature on account of Pliny. 

Pliny was the liberal patron of men of virtue and 
learning ; of the particulars of his death, history affords 
no mention. He died, it is supposed, about the year 


A. D. 113, no less distinguished for his virtues than his 

Of the writings of this ingenious and excellent man, 
only his epistles and panegyric remain. It has been a mat- 
ter of some surprize, that Trajan should have been able 
patiently to listen to this long discourse, in which pane- 
gyric appears exhausted ; but if the author has ex- 
ceeded the bounds of praise, he has not surpassed the 
limits of truth. His letters, though greatly studied, 
exhibit the extent of his genius. They manifest, how- 
ever, more taste than nature, and if Pliny, like Cicero, 
does not interest us by a detail of the intrigues and revo- 
lutions of the most turbulent period of the republic, he 
entertains us by a rapid and sprightly recital, intermixed 
with occurrences and anecdotes, that paint the manners 
and characters of his cotemporaries. 

! V Geary ; (bake. 

Z«nA>»-; ?>■■-■ ■urtrl ln> Tsm_o?; ?{•<■. i Sc S~iarpe,Foultrv,Dcci.l.8bg. 


Few men have so well served their country as Pericles. 
He was great in war, hut still greater in peace. Placed 
in the first rank among the Athenians, by his eloquence, 
his talents, and his virtues, an enlightened protector of 
the arts, ambitious of every species of glory, he well 
deserved that posterity should distinguish, by his name, 
the age to which he was so illustrious an ornament. 

Pericles devoted himself to the study of philosophy 
from his earliest years. Anaxagoras, of Clazomense, his 
master, guarded him from his infancy from all destructive 
prejudices; but the talent which Pericles cultivated with 
the greatest care, because he considered it as the most 
necessary acquirement in any one desirous of influencing 
the people, was that of public speaking. He gave, to 
use the words of Plutarch, to the study of philosophy 
the colour, of rhetoric. The most brilliant imagina- 
tion seconded all the powers of logic. Sometimes he 
thundered with vehemence, and set all Greece in flames; 
at other times, the goddess of persuasion, with all her 
allurements, dwelt upon his tongue, and no one could 
defend himself from the solidity of his argument and the 
sweetness of his discourse. 

Pericles, by birth, had some title to the confidence of 
the people : Xanthippus, his father, had beaten at My- 
cale the lieutenants of the Persian king. He was grand 
nephew, by Agariste his mother, of Calisthenes, wh» 


PERICLES. [atheks 

expelled the Pisistratidae, and re-established the popular 
government in Athens. The old men who had known 
Pisistratus, fancied they saw in Pericles the same perso- 
nal qualities, the same talent for elocution and sweetness 
of voice. He also resembled him in point of character. 
He was, like him, tender and moderate; but, like him, 
he thirsted for power. His riches, his illustrious birth, 
his powerful friends, his talents, and his virtues, would 
have subjected him to Ostracism, had he at first med- 
dled in public affairs. Pericles knew the danger, and 
avoided it. He suffered those to die who were able to 
trace in him any likeness to Pisistratus, and sought, 
amid war and peril, a glory less suspicious to the in- 
tereste of the republic, and less subject to envy. 

After the death of Aristides and the exile of Themis- 
tocles, Pericles, seeing that Cimon was engaged out of 
Greece in a foreign war, began to appear in public with 
greater boldness. He was then observed to withdraw 
himself from society, to renounce pleasure, to attract 
the attention of the multitude, by a slow step, a sober 
deportment, a modest exterior, and by irreproachable 
manners. He declared himself in favour of the popular 
party, in order to remove any suspicion that he aspired 
to absolute dominion, and to form a rampart against 
the reputation of Cimon, who was at the head of the 
opulent and the nobles. It is at this period we are to 
form our judgment of the policy of Pericles; of his 
ascendancy over himself, and of the combination of his 
projects. Athens, until then, had only considered him as 
the first of orators ; she now regarded him as one of 
her ablest statesmen. Incessantly occupied with the 
administration of public affairs, and devoting all his lei- 
sure hours to the study of those whom he intended to 


govern, Pericles, after having reflected upon his con- 
duct, judged it expedient to live in retirement, to avoid 
the applause of the people, who become weary as they 
lavish their praise, and to govern the multitude by those 
incitements which flattered them the most — the shew of 
magnificence in their public games, and grandeur in their 
monuments, whether of luxury or utility. The fortune 
of Pericles was an obstacle to the last part of his pro- 
jects. He could not, like Cimon, employ immense riches 
to decorate the city, and relieve the indigent ; but, by 
the influence of his popularity, he disposed of the trea- 
sure of the Athenians and that of their allies; and, as if 
nature concurred in the completion of his designs, he 
covered Athens with temples and edifices, which Art ha* 
enumerated among her chef d'auvres. The Parthenon, 
the Sanctuary of Eleusis, the Odeon, and the Propy 
lea, soon attracted the attention of a people enamoured 
of the fine arts, and of every thing that bore the stamp 
of grandeur and elegance. And to advance his fortune, 
there sprung up at this memorable epoch, in every part 
of Greece, those illustrious writers and celebrated artists, 
who reflected so much lustre upon an age, which may be 
called the age of Genius. 

But it was not solely by monuments and public festi- 
vals that Pericles rendered himself the idol of the people ; 
he effected it still more by the profusion with which he 
bestowed honours and rewards. He gave pensions to 
the poor citizens, and distributed among them a portion 
of the conquered territories. He granted particular pri- 
vileges to the judges, and to those who assisted at the 
shews and at the general assembly. The people, who 
saw only the hand which gave, were blind to the source 
from whence it was received. Their attachment to 


Pericles even encreased when they observed that this 
great man maintained in his family the modesty and fru- 
gality of ancient times ; that he carried into the admini- 
stration the utmost disinterestedness and unalterable 
probity; and in the government of the armies had the 
precaution to put nothing to hazard, and to risk rather 
the reputation than the safety of the state. Pericles, 
assured of the devotion of the people of Athees, rendered 
them accomplices to his ambition : he caused Cimon to 
be banished, by a false accusation of carrying on a suspi- 
cious intercourse with the Lacedaemonians ; and under 
frivolous pretexts destroyed the authority of the court of 
Areopagus, of which he was not a member, which vi- 
gorously opposed all innovation, and restrained the licen^ 
liousness of the Athenians. 

After jthe death of Cimon, the nobility seeing Pericles 
thus rising With rapidity to sovereign power, opposed 
him iii the person of Thuc}<dides. This new rival, 
the orator of his faction, did not cease to represent 
Pericles as prodigal of the public finances. Pericles 
perceiving that the people began to give credit to this 
accusation, so frequently repeated, asked them one day 
in a general assembly, if they thought the disbursements 
too extravagant- " Infinitely so," — they replied. "Well, 
then," he retorted, " the whole shall be placed to my in^ 
dividual account, and I will inscribe my name upon these 
monuments." " Not so," returned the people, with en- 
thusiasm, " Let them be constructed at the expence of 
the public, and nothing be spared for their comple- 

Alter this victory, carried on by the adroitness of Pe^ 
ricles, he came to so violent a rupture with Thucydides, 


that he insisted upon his banishment, or upon being ba- 
nished himself. Thueydides was vanquished in this con- 
flict of ambition, and bis exile tended to annihilate the 
power of his partizans. All party spirit being now ex- 
tinguished, concord and unanimity were re-established. 
Pericles now governed, without any obstacle, the people 
of Athens; directed, according to his pleasure, the finances, 
the navy, and the troops: islands and seas were made 
subservient to his views : he alone governed that vast en- 
gine which extended itself not only over the Greeks, 
but the Barbarians, and which was fortified and cemented 
by the obedience and the fidelity of the conquered na- 
tions, by the friendship of kings, and by treaties ratified 
with several princes. 

Pericles, by his military expeditions, augmented, for a 
considerable time, the natural pride and ambition of the 
Athenians. Under this illustrious general they had made 
the glorious campaign of the Chersonesus. They had 
seen him with a fleet of one hundred ships scour the 
whole coast of the Peloponnesus ; subdue the Sicyonians 
in the territory of Nemsea; and, sailing afterwards 
beyond the embouchure of the Achelous, devastate 
Acarnania, and compel the inhabitants of CEniada to 
hide themselves within their walls. So many triumphs 
inspired them with an opinion of their strength, and 
this sentiment rendered them unjust towards their 
allies, who for a long time murmured at these tyran- 
nical dispositions. Amongst other subjects of complaint, 
they reproached the Athenians with having employed, 
in the embellishment of their city, certain sums of money 
which had been yearly paid to them to commence war 
against the Persians. Pericles replied, that the fleets 
of the republic sheltered her allies from the insults of 


barbarians, and that she had no other engagements to 
fulfil. In consequence of this answer, Eubice, Samos, 
and Byzantium, revolted; but soon after, Eubioe returned 
to the dominion of the Athenians. Byzantium granted 
them her accustomed tribute : Samos, after a vigorous 
resistance, indemnified them for the expences of the war, 
surrendered their ships, demolished her walls, and sent 
hostages to Athens. 


The greater glory Pericles acquired the more envy he 
excited. The league of the Peloponnesus, by which he 
was regarded as the author of the despotrc measures which 
Athens had adopted towards their allies, raised him many 
enemies among his own countrymen. Not daring, at first, 
to attack him in his private life, which was irreproach- 
able, they attacked him in the persons of those he loved. 
In Anaxagores, his master, in Phidias, his protege, and 
in his wife Aspasia, the repository of all his projects, 
and his tenderest friend. In the end, by degrees, their 
malevolence reached himself. He was accused of having 
dissipated, or mis-employed the public treasure, of which 
he was ordered to render an account. Notwithstanding 
his integrity, he would doubtless have sunk under this 
attack, if an unforeseen event had not reseated him in 
authority. This event was the Peloponnesian war. The 
origin of this war, and the dissentions which preceded 
it, being irrelevant to the subject, w r e shall not enter 
into any detail of the differences between Corcyra and 
Corinth, the revolt of Potidea, nor the conduct of 
Athens towards Megara. The ambition of the Athenians, 
and the distrust which they justly inspired in the Lacedae- 
monians, and their allies, appear to be the real motive 
of this war, so fatal to the city of Athens, and to the 
liberty of Greece. According to some historians, Peri- 


cles himself fomented it ; certain it is, that he did no- 
thing to prevent it, and that it was of infinite import- 
ance to the re-establishment of his power. 

Fortune, during the first years of the war, appeared 
to balance between the two rival nations the successes 
and the defeats ; but the prudence of Pericles presented 
more than once an useful obstacle to the unreflecting 
ardour of the Athenians. He would never expose his sol- 
diers to a pitched battle, and preferred seeing the plains 
of Athens devastated by the Lacedaemonians rather than 
risk a decisive combat with enemies superior in numbers, 
and their equal in point of valour. The Athenians mur- 
mured at this discretion, which they called cowardice, 
deprived him of his authority, and condemned him to 
pay a considerable fine. Pericles did not only experi- 
ence public misfortunes ; at the same moment some pri- 
vate calamities took possession of his great mind. The 
plague, a scourge from Ethiopia, after having overrun 
Egypt, Lybia, a part of Persia, and the Isle of Lemnos, 
then ravaged Athens. Pericles beheld his children pe- 
rish, and many of his friends. The death of his last son 
shook his fortitude in a peculiar manner : in attempting 
to place the crown of flowers on the head of his deceased 
offspring, he was so overpowered at the sight, that he 
abandoned himself to the most clamourous and excessive 

Athens, at length, dissatisfied with her generals and 
her magistrates, the weakness of whose talents she had 
experienced, recalled Pericles, and solicited pardon for 
her ingratitude. This great man, although disgusted with 
the possession of power, and overwhelmed at the loss 
of his children, submitted to the prayers of the people, 


and resumed the command. This he did not long exer- 
cise; the plague, which had not terminated its ravages, 
seized him as its victim, and carried him off in the third 
year of the war, about 492 years before J. C. _As he 
was expiring, and seemingly senseless, the principal per- 
sons of Athens, who had assembled round his bed, sof- 
tened their affliction by expatiating on his victories, and 
the number of his trophies. " These exploits" said he 
/to them, rising with some difficulty, " were the work of 
fortune, and common to me with other generals : — the 
only encomiums I merit as a minister, a general, and as 
a man, is, that not a citizen in Athens has been obliged 
to put on mourning on my account." 


',-. : _ g 


Whether considered as a moralist, an historian, or 
a philosopher, Plutarch is one of the most celebrated 
men of antiquity. The year of his birth is not known ; 
but, upon the authority of some passages in his writings, 
it may be conjectured that he was born in Boeotia, five or 
six years before the death of the Emperor Claudius, that 
is to say, in the year of J. C. 49 or 50. 

A very liberal education developed his natural endow- 
ments; but Plutarch owes more perhaps to meditation 
than to labour. He made, at an early period, several 
voyages into Italy, whither he was called by the state of 
affairs of his native city Chaironea. It is impossible to 
say at what period he undertook these voyages ; certain 
it is, that he entered Rome for the first time towards the 
end of the reign of Vespasian, and that he never went 
there after that of Domitian, an epoch when he established 
himself entirely in Greece. 

During his residence at Rome, his house was contin- 
ually filled with the most eminent characters that the 
capital of the universe could boast. Men, celebrated for 
their rank or attainments, or distinguished by their learn- 
ing or their talents, gathered round the philosopher of 
Chseronea, to listen to his dissertations, and to profit by 
his lessons. 

Some writers, Peter of Alexandria, and Eusebius, have 

PLUTARCH. [italy. 

been desirous to ascertain the precise period when Plu- 
tarch was so much honoured at Rome. The former has 
fixed it in the third year of the reign of Nero, under the 
consulship of Rufus and his colleague; the latter, in his 
chronicle, places it at a year later, and, in another place, 
carries it to the time of Adrian, in the year 120 of J. C. 
The truth is, that Plutarch did not begin to be known at 
Rome until the reign of Vespasian, and that his reputation 
was in its utmost splendour under that of Trajan, when 
the Romans had read his immortal work of The Lives of 
Illustrious Men. 

Plutarch might have aspired to the highest dignity, 
had he been disposed to remain at Rome, but nothing 
could induce him to renounce his native country. At an 
age when ambition has the greatest influence over the 
mind, he quitted a spot where he might have risen ra- 
pidly to the highest offices, abandoned the society of 
illustrious men, who admired his talents and esteemed his 
person, to pass the remainder of his days quietly, though 
in gloriously, in the midst of his countrymen. The model 
of all the civil virtues, a good son, husband, and father, 
he had not the vanity to imagine that superior talents 
gave him the privilege of despising the subordinate dig- 
nities of the small town he inhabited: on the contrary, 
he esteemed it an honour to fill, with the most scrupulous 
attention, an inferior situation that was entrusted to him; 
which induced his countrymen, some time after, to re- 
eompence his zeal by the appointment of Archon, that is 
to say, by raising him to the rank of first magistrate. 

As the exact year of the birth of Plutarch is uncertain, 
we are equally ignorant of the precise period of his death. 
Vossius assures us that he lived to the^ reign of Antoninus 

italy.] PLUTARCH. 

Pius: what may be affirmed with greater confidence is, 
that he died at an advanced age, about the 140th year 
of the christian acra. 

It was asked of a person eminent for his talents and 
his taste, which, of all the writings of antiquity, he 
would preserve, had he only the power of retaining one: 
" The Lives of Plutarch, " was his reply. Of all the works 
of the ancients, it, in fact, is the one most justly esteemed, 
the most frequently read, and which affords the highest 
entertainment on each perusal. The love of truth per- 
vades the Lives of Plutarch; history is no where so essen- 
tially moral as in that author; nothing dazzles or inflames 
him; he weighs men in the proper balance, and assigns 
to each his proper value. If his narrative be at times de- 
ficient in perspicuity and method, it must be recollected 
that he always supposes an anterior acquaintance with 
general history. He is more occupied with men than 
with things; his subject is particularly man, whose life 
he writes ; this he always fills to the best of his judgment, 
not by the accumulation of details, as Suetonius, but by 
the representation of peculiar traits. With respect to 
the Parallels, they are finished pieces; in these Plutarch 
seems superior to himself, both as a writer and philosopher. 
But if his judgment of men be correct, he is no less so in 
his appreciation of things; of this we may be convinced by- 
reading his other productions. Every thing is just and sub- 
stantial in the multitude of small treatises which compose 
his Moral Works. There is only one production in which 
Plutarch has betrayed some asperity, and in which he 
has in consequence somewhat deviated from that attention 
to truth which forms his principal character; that is in 
his accusation of Herodotus. This can only be excused by 
his attachment to his native country. Herodotus had not 

PLUTARCH. [italy. 

done justice to the people of Peloponnesus, to whose 
welfare nothing was indifferent to Plutarch. 

The best editions of his works are that of Henry Ste- 
phens, Greek and Latin, 1572, 4to.; that of Maussac, ]6'24, 
2 vols, folio; and that of London, 1729, o vols. 4to. ; and 
his lives have been translated into English by Dryden and 

Snarafsd I: Gwrqt Cooke.. 

'o?ido:t-Ji, : i " ' Sharpie Poultry ;FebajJSio- 


Op the numerous characters produced by the re- 
Volution in France, no one lias left behind him a name 
so universally abhorred as Robespierre. Tyrannical 
without character, and barbarous without necessity, his 
reign, which gave birth to so many painful recollections, 
was that of every sort of crime, and of every species of 
cruelty. He depopulated France of every thing which 
was its honour and its glory, and his dark and bloody 
tyranny appeared without motive, as it was without ex- 
ample. Robespierre had none of those advantages 
which place a man above the multitude, and which 
are so many titles to dominion. He had neither that 
strength of mind which produces extraordinary events, 
nor those talents which supply the place of genius. He 
neither knew how to create circumstances, nor to profit 
by those which chance presented to him ; his irresolu- 
tion attests his want of courage, and his want of courage 
hastened his fall. Stern, obdurate, without imagination, 
he possessed only the talent of profiting by the abilities 
of others. It is to be remarked, that it was not in those 
epochs when the legislative assemblies resounded with 
the eloquence of its orators, that Robespierre acquired 
his baneful influence ; he obtained it when the revolu- 
tionary hurricane had swept away the men of talents, 
and transported to the political stage adventurers until 
then unknown, whose srenius led them to the commis- 
sion of crimes. Among these degenerate beings Robe- 
spierre particularly distinguished himself, more by his 


ROBESPIERRE. [francs. 

insolence than address. He availed himself of the faults 
of his rivals, and was always solicitous to open to them 
the way to honours and to riches, in order to have a 
pretext for destroying them. Naturally ambitious, he 
covered his projects by an impenetrable veil. His most 
intimate friends knew not the secrets of his soul; he 
oppressed those whom he could not seduce ; he set 
one faction against another, and was ever in the 
midst of them to destroy the victorious party. Such 
was the secret of his successes ; and his fall may be 
attributed more to his want of energy than to the supe- 
rior talents of his adversaries. 

In attempting briefly to trace the principal traits of 
his life, we shall simply detail facts ; they will speak more 
than all the reflections of the historian. 

Maximilian-Isidore Robespierre was born at Arras, in 
1759. His father was an advocate in the Supreme Coun- 
cil at Artois, and, ruined by his dissipation, had left 
France long before the revolution. An orphan at the 
age of 9, and without fortune, he was indebted to the be- 
nevolent protection of the Bishop of Arras, M. de Con- 
zie, for the situation of Bursar of the College of Lewis 
XIV. We are assured that from his infancy he mani- 
fested a cruel, reserved, and timid disposition ; and an 
ardent love of liberty and independence. After having 
passed through his studies, and obtained the honour of 
being chosen by his fellow students to address Lewis 
XVI. upon the entrance of that prince into Paris, he 
returned to Arras, where having become an advocate of 
the council of Artois, he composed strictures against 
the magistrates of that province. A daring enthusiast 
m 1789, he was elected on account of bis revolu* 

trance.] ROBESPIERRE. 

tionary principles, by the third estate of Artois, to a 
seat in the Constituent Assembly. We shall not follow 
him in detail in that assembly : we shall simply remark, 
that he spoke much without obtaining any particular in- 
fluence, and evinced himself constantly the courtier of 
the people. Robespierre, in all his harangues, appears 
to foresee events. The avowed enemy of royalty, we 
behold him enlisted on the side of Republicanism, of 
which he ventured to alter the name, on the day when 
the Assembly decreed the French government monar- 
chial. We behold him again, after the arrest of the 
king at Varennes, resuming his projects for the destruc- 
tion of that monarch, preparing the movements which 
took place at the Champ-de-Mars, on the 14th, J 6th, and 
17th of July 179 1? and attacking on the 14th, in the 
assembly, the principle of the inviolability of the so- 
vereign, in the hope of having him arraigned : but at 
the end of the sitting, finding his opinion rejected, he 
began to tremble for his temerity, and required, that 
they should not provoke the ruin of persons who had en- 
gaged in that affair. 

If Robespierre was unable to distinguish himself among 
the orators of the Constituent Assembly, if his principles 
appeared obnoxious to the innovators, acting from sen- 
timent in 1789, if they often drew upon him the indigna- 
tion of his colleagues, they were the means of his 
acquiring among the Jacobins that reputation and 
favour, which, daily increasing, rendered him at last the 
idol of the people, and the ruler of the government. 
The day of the closing of the assembly, the populace 
surrounded him on his coming out of the hall, put a 
crown of oak upon his head, placed him in a carriage, 
and, taking out the horses, dragged him to his house, 

ROBESPIERRE. [prance. 

exclaiming as they moved, " Voila Varai du peuple, le 
grand defenseur de la liberte" Robespierre was fully sen- 
sible of the advantages which might result from his alli- 
ance with the jacobins. He devoted himself entirely to 
the direction of a club bearing that name, and refused, 
in order to give up his whole time to the objects they 
had in view, the office of accuser in the criminal tribunal 
at Paris, to which he had been appointed. Until his 
election to a seat in the convention, he was never seen 
personally to engage in those insurrections which pro^ 
duced the atrocious attack upon the king, nor in the 
horrible massacres, which, in 1?92, covered Paris with 
murder and blood, and the French name with eternal 
opprobrium. He refused even to preside at the tribunal 
of the 10th of August, because, as he said, " He had 
long since denounced and accused the conspirators, 
whom this tribunal w r as ordained to judge." But he 
had scarcely entered the Convention, when he resolved 
to raise his faction upon the ruins of all the others, and 
his power upon the destruction of those factions, which 
he might employ. To attain this end, he was seen at 
first to strengthen the ties by which he had already been 
united to Marat and Danton, and to avail himself par- 
ticularly of the latter, in order to overthrow the Giron- 
dinsy who, from the fifth session, had exposed his 
ambition, and accused him of aspiring to the dictator- 
ship. It was during this struggle that Louvet pro- 
nounced against him that very eloquent harangue, which 
Mad. Roland called the Robespierreiad. Assisted by his 
brother and by Danton, Robespierre, in the sitting of 
the 5th of November, overpowered the Girondins, and 
went to the Jacobins to enjoy the fruits of his victory, 
where Merlin de Thionville declared him an Eagle, and 
Barbaroux a Reptile. From that moment he never 


ceased to promote the death of Louis XVI. with an 
asperity and a perseverance almost incredible. In short, 
until the fatal day of the martyrdom of that amiable and 
unfortunate prince, he continually importuned the tri- 
bune to pronounce upon him (according to the expres- 
sion of one of his colleagues) des vociferations tie cannibale, 
and the most atrocious prejudgments. It is almost su- 
perfluous to add, that he voted for his death on the day 
of the nominal appeal to the nation. 

Constant in his hatred of the Girondins, he attacked 
them with great vehemence until the 31st of May, when 
he obtained a complete triumph. His most dangerous 
enemies among the men of that faction were outlawed, 
and the others arrested. The success of this day ren- 
dered him absolute ruler of the Convention, and founded 
that tyrannical empire, which only terminated with his 

Among the factions which had lent him their assistance, 
the Hebertistes was the first that separated from his cause. 
This faction aspired to sole dominion, but the good for- 
tune or the address of Robespierre was able at once to 
oppose the Jacobins and the Cordeliers, and it sunk in 
March 179 h under their united efforts. Danton, who 
had been particularly serviceable on this occasion, whose 
energy had been of such utility, who had aided him in 
sweeping away the other factions; Danton, in short, 
whom he ought to have considered as the instrument 
of his power, became a formidable enemy, after having 
been for a length of time a most devoted friend and 
a faithful ally. The two parties were at issue ; one or 
the other must necessarily be overcome. The cunning 
of Robespierre triumphed over the inconsiderate ardour 

ROBESPIERRE. [fr a n c e. 

of his rival, whom he took pains to render unpopular, 
by sending him to enrich himself in Belgium. A few 
days afterwards he was accused, arrested, and conveyed 
to the scaffold, with Desmoulins, La Croix, Fabre, and 
others. In the course of the same month (April 1794) 
he delivered over to the Revolutionary Tribunal the 
remainder of the party of the Hebertistes, and that of 
the Cordeliers, whom he degraded by the name of 
atheists, and from that moment, until the period of his 
downfal, his power met with no opposition. It was then 
that his language assumed a different tone. I must be, it is 
necessary, I will, were his general expressions ; and the 
Convention, as he himself called it, was only his machine 
a decrets. What is worthy of remark is, that France 
groaning under the struggles of different parties, should 
applaud the conduct of Robespierre, from an idea that 
she would be less miserable under a single tyrant. His 
new plan of religion, ridiculous as it was, gained him 
some adherents : but it must be evident to every reflect- 
ing mind, that Robespierre must have conceived him- 
self at the head of the government, since he attempted 
to rebuild, w 7 hose sole object had hitherto been to de- 
stroy. It is impossible to conjecture how long his" 
power might have continued had he spared his col- 
leagues, and if he had not incited to resistance men, 
who, until then, had blindly executed his orders, and 
who desired nothing more than to continue to serve and 
obey him : but in sacrificing the leaders of the revolu- 
tionary government, Robespierre sought a support in the 
moderate party. This policy ruined him : those whose 
destruction he had meditated occasioned his downfal. 
Danger, however, inspired him with courage. From 
the 10th of June, Ruamps and Bourdon de TOise in par- 
ticular, had expressed some distrust of the committee of 

france.] ROBESPIERRE. 

public safety, which produced a discussion, in which Ro- 
bespierre, speaking with an air of despotism, had the 
good fortune to silence them. This was the moment he 
should have chosen to overwhelm the party, who re- 
doubled its intrigues for his destruction: at the head of 
which Tallien rendered himself remarkable. His friend 
St. Just, advised him to strike the first blow. Robe- 
spierre had passed several days in retirement, occupied 
in projecting, at a moment when he ought to have acted. 
When he re-appeared on the 26th at the convention, his 
partizans abandoned him : he in vain endeavoured to re- 
gain the ground he had lost. Sensible of the danger 
which threatened him, he called together his most inti- 
mate friends on the night of the 26th. St. Just pressed him 
immediately to act. He hesitated for twenty-four hours, 
and this delay was the sentence of his death. The next 
day Billaud-Varennes removed the veil, and Robespierre 
having rushed to the tribune to reply to him, the cries 
of a 6as h tyran, drove him instantly from the assembly. 
A few minutes after a decree was passed for his arrest, 
and that of St. Just, Couthon, and Le Bas. Les brigands 
triomphent, he exclaimed, on turning to the side of the 
conquerors. He was afterwards conducted to the Lux- 
embourg, and in a little time removed from that palace 
and conveyed to the commune which had delivered him up. 
He for some instants cherished the hopes of a triumph : 
the national guard, under the command of Henriot, as- 
sembled in his defence. But the convention having put 
him out of the protection of the law, the Parisians aban- 
doned him, and at three o'clock in the morning he 
found himself with his accomplices in the power of the 
officers of the convention. At the moment he was about 
to be seized he discharged a pistol at his head, which 
only fractured his lower jaw: others say, it was fired by 

ROBESPIERRE. [france. 

Medal, one of the gens d'armes, who had stepped for- 
ward to arrest him, and against whom he defended him- 
self. He was immediately conducted to the commune, 
from thence conveyed to the Conciergerie, and executed 
on the same day, the 28th of July, 1794. 

His last moments presented a most terrific scene : his 
mouth full of blood, his eyes half closed, his head bound 
up with a bloody handkerchief, he was thrown into the 
same cell, which had been successively inhabited by He- 
bert, Danton, and Chaumette. When he quitted the pri- 
son to meet his punishment, the proscribed persons ob- 
structing the passage, the jailor cried out " Place, place 
done, a monsieur I 'incorruptible " He was conveyed in a 
cart between Henriot and Couthon: the people halted be- 
fore the house, two women danced before the carriage, and 
one of them exclaimed, " Ton supplice m' enivrede joiel 
descends aux enfersavec les maledictions, de toutes les epouses, 
de toutes les meres." The executioner, in order to dis- 
patch him, tore away rudely the bandage from his wound. 
He uttered a cry of horror ; his lower jaw separated itself 
from the upper. The blood again flowed, and his head 
exhibited a spectacle of the most frightful kind. He 
died at the age of 35. 

Robespierre was a monster; his life attests it : but he 
was not solely guilty of the atrocities which signalized 
his reign. By his downfal, he was loaded with all those 
iniquities, which, had he triumphed, he would have at- 
tributed to his opponents. This remark is not offered in 
his justification, but to prove that the pro-consuls of the 
year 2, ought to share in his condemnation, and that no- 
thing can free them from the reproaches of the age in 
which they lived, and from the maledictions of posterity. 

ZcnAcn-fwb'tij'kti. by Tenur.Hood. & Sharp e , Poultry, Sq>a.i8oo 


This emperor presents, in an uncommon degree, h 
mixture of virtue and vice. He possessed the talents of 
a great prince and a great general ; but tarnished his 
glory by acts which no reputation could absolve. 

Septimius Severus was born at Leptis, in Africa, in the 
year 145. He was at first successively tribune, pro- 
consul, and consul. After the murder of Pertinax, he 
caused himself to be proclaimed emperor on the borders 
of Illyricum, taking Albinus as his associate, who com- 
manded the army in Britain. Severus marched rapidly 
to Rome, but was opposed by Prescennius Niger, who 
had a considerable army in the east. His first object was 
to avenge the death of Pertinax. He degraded all the 
Pretorians, and devoted to destruction those who were 
the most active in his death. 

Niger, beaten by Severus, in three different engage- 
ments, was totally defeated by him near Issus, and killed 
in his flight. He behaved with great cruelty to all the 
partizans of his unfortunate rival. Elated with his suc- 
cess, he pillaged Byzantium, and attempted the assassina- 
tion of Albinus, with whom he pretended to be desirous 
of dividing the empire. Being foiled in his views, he 
had recourse to arms. Albinus, incapable of opposing 
his power, was defeated by Severus, and slain, with his 
family and adherents, in the year 197. 


About this time he assumed the imperial title ; and, 
wearied of inaction, marched his forces into the east, 
where he made numerous conquests. He was recalled 
from Asia by the revolt of the Britons, whom he reduced 
to obedience. To defend the island from the incursions 
of the Picts, he built a wall across the northern part, — of 
which some vestiges remain. While in Britain, his son 
Caracalla, whom he had appointed his successor, made an 
attempt upon his life. Aware of the conspiracy, he had 
the weakness to pardon him, but compelled him to wit- 
ness the death of his accomplices ; and alluding to his 
infirmities, which furnished Caracalla with a pretext for 
his unnatural crime, he said, " Know, young man, it is 
the head only that governs, and while that remains sound, 
the rest of the body is in health." Worn out at length 
by a complication of disorders, he died at York, in the 
year 211, at the age of 66, 

■ Jharpe JOru&ry. SepfxiBog. 


The ambitious Mcesa bad succeeded in elevating Heli- 
ogabalus, her grandson, to the empire, but she was soon 
sensible that the depravity which he early evinced, would 
occasion her destruction. She therefore persuaded him. 
to adopt her cousin germain, of whom she w r as likewise 
the grandmother, and who then took the name of Alex- 
ander Severus. 

Heliogabalus endeavoured, at first, to make this young 
prince, who was then only thirteen, the companion of his 
excesses. Mcesa, and Mammaea, the mother of Alexan- 
der, disconcerted all his projects by their vigilance. This 
monster, in a fit of resentment, meditated his ruin, but 
his aims were likewise frustrated. Fresh attempts tended 
to the revolt of his troops. Heliogabalus and his mother 
were massacred, and Alexander was proclaimed emperor, 
and acknowledged by the senate at the age of thirteen 
and a half. 

Mcesa and Mammaea reigned for a time in his name. 
The former died a little time after ; and when in the end, 
Alexander assumed the reins of government, his mother 
maintained so much influence, and was treated by him 
with such respect and deference, as to induce his enemies 
to make it a subject of accusation. 

Upon the elevation of Alexander to the empire, sixteen 
senators, distinguished for their valour and their virtue, 

were chosen to form his council. Of this number, was 
the celebrated lawyer Ulpianus. Their first care was to 
displace, by estimable men, the comedians and de- 
bauched characters to whom Heliogabalus had en- 
trusted the government of the provinces, and the 
most important offices in the state; at the same time 
it was necessary to restore order into every department 
of the government, to give the senate its proper dignitv, 
and to re-establish the finances, exhausted by insensible 
profusion. This Alexander effected by his moderation 
and ceconomy ; although he materially reduced the taxes, 
which had been imposed by his predecessors. " An em- 
peror," he said, " is only the steward of the people, and 
bas no right to expend the property of his master. 

Simple in his furniture and his apparel, he conceived 
u that princes should only be distinguished from their 
subjects by the brilliancy of their actions." A severe 
dispenser of justice, he punished with the utmost rigour 
those who abused his confidence. Vitronius Tuvinus 
availing himself of the favour with the emperor, which 
he appeared to enjoy, to secure, at an extravagant price, 
imaginary protections and pretended recommendations, 
which he called selling smoke, was attached to a gibbet, 
encompassed with green wood, and suffocated by the 
smoke which issued from it when lightedr During the 
execution a public crier exclaimed in a loud voice, The 
dealer in smoke perishing by smoke. 

Do to others as you would be done by, was a maxim re- 
peated frequently by Severus. He ordered it to be en- 
graven upon the door of his palace, and inviolably ob- 
served it. He favoured Christianity, from the morality of 
which he borrowed his favourite axiom, and placed the 


image of Jesus Christ among those of the Gods, and extra- 
ordinary men, whom he honoured with peculiar veneration. 
Many authors imagine that his mother was a Christian. 

The clemency and moderation of Alexander were par- 
ticularly evident with respect to Ovinius Camillus, who 
had aspired to the empire. He named him his colleague, 
divided with him his palace, and the honours attendant 
on the supreme authority ; but he required that he should 
participate in all its labours and its cares. Camillus, very 
soon disgusted at the part he acted, solicited permission 
to abdicate the imperial seat, and to retire into the coun- 
try, to which Alexander consented. 

In the tenth year of the reign of Alexander, Artaxerxes, 
who had succeeded in seducing the Persians from the 
dominion of the Parthians, declared war against him. 
To oppose him, the emperor marched at the head of his 
troops. He established in his army the most rigid dis- 
cipline, and made himself feared and beloved by his le- 
gions. One of them revolted, and the soldiers continu- 
ing, notwithstanding the reproach of Alexander, to utter 
seditious expressions; " Citizens," said he, " retire, and 
throw down your arms." The whole legion, struck with 
astonishment, immediately quitted their arms and military 
habit, and departed in silence. He afterwards re-embo- 
died them, and that identical legion signalized itself more 
than any other in the war against the Persians, and testi- 
fied the most sincere regret at the death of Alexander. 

Conqueror of Artaxerxes, he entered Rome in triumph, 
when he learnt that his frontiers were threatened by the 
Germans. Alexander marched to attack them, and they 
-retreated at his approach. He attempted to restore dis- 


cipline among the legions of Gaul ; his severity excited 
their disaffection. Maximinus, a Goth by birth, whom he 
had raised to the first distinction in the army, on account 
of his bravery, availing himself of the disposition of 
the troops, caused Alexander and his mother to be assas- 
sinated in the year 235. This prince was then only twen- 
ty-seven ; he had reigned thirteen years. He patronized 
literature and learned men ; and devoted his leisure to 
the study of the best authors. He decorated Rome with 
several monuments. 

Trajan, Antoninus, and Marcus Aurelius, it must be 
confessed, achieved considerably more than Alexander ; 
but it must likewise be observed, that they were severally 
older when they ascended the throne, than Alexander 
when he ceased to reign. 

^~is:\v>fd i;i c-ivrj.^vfc". 

J^o.iAon.-FiJMshed, by V£rneT,_hcprL& Sharve,Toultr\',Ja7i.ij.8io. 


Thespts was the father of Grecian tragedy; but all 
the efforts of the learned have not been able to inform 
us what form he gave it. Born with an ardent mind, 
a manly character, a soul susceptible of enthusiasm, 
Eschylus aggrandized the stage, excited terror, affright, 
and pity. Genius often inspired, but taste did not en- 
lighten him; he distinguished himself, as Longinus says, 
by bold thoughts, by noble and heroic images; but, by 
attempting too great elevation, he exposed himself to 
great failures. Sophocles brought tragedy to the highest 
degree of perfection; according to some, he composed 
12.5 pieces, according to others, only 80. The least of 
these two numbers is prodigious; and, in spite of our 
resources, and the facility of borrowing and imitating, 
the fecundity of the moderns is not to be compared with 
that of the Greeks, who had every thing to create and 
invent: — seven of these pieces only have reached us. 
We can here only cast a rapid glance on these master- 
pieces, the objects of admiration of the learned in all 
ages. His (Ed i pus presents one of the most pathetic sub- 
jects of the ancient theatre. — A prince who becomes a 
parricide, and commits incest by the effect of fatality, 
and who, without being guilty, finds himself, in a mo- 
ment, the object of universal execration, who, with hor- 
ror, discovers his mother in his wife, his brothers in his 
children, must have excited terror and pity in the minds 



of all the Greeks. The dark colouring of the representa- 
tions, the truth of the sentiments, the terrible obscurity 
of the oracles, the deep expressions of despair, bestow 
on this piece an interest which a difference of religion 
and manners cannot destroy. Voltaire, in his 19th year, 
had the noble audacity to seize on a subject on which 
the genius of CorneiHe had failed, and he had the good 
fortune to be successful. The Elect ra of Sophocles in- 
terests us by making us shudder; it presents to us an 
horrible parricide, which ancient fanaticism transformed 
into an act of piety. With what simple and affecting 
beauties does the scene between the two sisters, who are 
going to strew gifts on the grave of their father, abound! 
With what art does the poet strive to render Clytemnestra 
odious, that he may weaken the horror which the crime 
of her children must excite! Two French poets, Cre- 
billon and Voltaire, have brought this subject on their 
stage: the one has possessed himself of the masculine 
and energetic beauties of the Grecian poet, but not of 
his happy simplicity; the other, less nervous perhaps, 
lias been able to approach nearer to the ancient stage. 
In Philoctetus, the theatre is filled, the attention cap- 
tivated, by only three actors. How eloquent are the 
complaints of the unfortunate hero! But the genius of 
Sophocles revives in one of the fine episodes of Tele- 
machus. The Antigonus is the only piece of this great 
tragic author, in which love plays a part: it adds to the 
interest of the subject, without diminishing the unity of 
action; and what action can be more simple than that of 
pious women, who brave a tyrant, that they may perform 
the funeral rites to their brother! Sophocles had not 
the grief of surviving his genius, although he survived 
the affection of his children; and his GEdipus at Co- 


Junnus was the finest revenge be could take on his ungrate- 
ful sons. 

Tel Sophocle a cent ans charmait entor Athcnes, 
Tel bouillonnaitencor sou viejuxs^ng dans ses vnines. 

The distinguishing character of this great tragedian 
is majesty and simplicity; he has, in this respect, the 
advantage over Euripides, who is superior to him in the 
pathos of sentiment, and the language of the passions: 
the one seems to take only nature for his guide; the 
other employs the resources of art: the first appears not 
to have proposed to himself a moral aim; the second 
strives at once to please and to instruct. Sophocles has 
derived every thing from studying man; Euripides has 
consulted the books and lectures of the philosophers : the 
first was formed to pourtray kings, with the haughtiness 
and pride of despotism; the second, by the character of 
his eloquence, seemed to approach nearer to the repub- 
lican genius. Sophocles always makes judgment sub- 
servient to reason; Euripides sometimes makes judgment 
and taste yield to imagination. Both were treated with 
injustice, did not entirely enjoy their glory, and left to 
posterity the care of appreciating the extent of their 

The ancient poets have greatly praised Sophocles, and 
his eulogium is to be found in their verses oftener than 
that of Euripides, whether it be because they think him 
more perfect, or because the state in which he found the 
dramatic art, caused him to be considered as a second 
founder of it. Longinus, one of the most celebrated 
Grecian critics, does not decide between these two great 

SORHOCLES. [greece. 

masters of the stage; be represents Euripides as very 
happy in his choice of grand images; but adds, that iSo- 
pbocies is not inferior to him, as may be seen by his de- 
scription of CEdipus dying, by that of Achilles showing 
himself on his tomb, at the moment when the Greeks 
are ready to weigh anchor, in this latter piece, he pre- 
fers Simonides to him. 

A taste for literature did not absorb the activity of 
Sophocles: he was an intrepid warrior, but more of a 
soldier than an officer. Peiicles only beheld in him a 
brave man, who knows how to face death, and not a man 
capable of ably leading on others: he was his colleague 
in the magistracy; but the poet has left behind him an 
unsullied reputation, while the general appears to have 
justly deserved reproach. 






: '! ;:■ 

?aznJzd .' kin ' .' - ' 


■ - 


This statesman, born with an independent genius, 
and a love for the public good, distinguished himself by 
brilliant innovations, and meditated many more which he 
was unable to realize. Those who opposed his operations 
were compelled to do justice to his virtues, and the 
august character of the patriot threw a lustre on the dis- 
graced minister. 

Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot was born at Paris the 
10th of May, 1727 ; he was the youngest son of Michel 
Etienne, who did himself honour in the situation of Pre- 
vot des Marchands, by useful labours and projects, which 
would have rendered the reign of Louis XV. illustrious, 
if that monarch had known how to employ, in the con- 
struction of lasting monuments, a part of those treasures 
which he sacrificed to pleasures without dignity. The 
young Turgot at first embraced the profession of the 
church, which seemed to suit his taste for study; but 
although he obtained the title of Prior of the Sorbonne, 
he changed his vocation and went to the bar. His con- 
duct in parliament did not announce a genius for reform ; 
the heads of the younger sort were in a state of fermen- 
tation ; and this body, limited by the nature of its insti- 
tution to judicial functions, undertook to fill the place 
of the States General, to which Richelieu had given the 
death blow. Turgot shewed himself docile to every act 
of power, and seemed to consider every remonstrance, 
every refusal to register an edict, as a seditious attempt ; 


he was one of the royal chamber, which was substituted 
in place of the parliament, of that ephemeral tribunal, 
which the public opinion anathematized from the mo- 
ment of its birth. 

Appointed Intendant of Limoges, the talents and vir- 
tues of the administrator caused the servile compliances 
of the member of parliament to be forgotten. He found 
the province in a deplorable state : he abolished the cor- 
vees, an oppressive tribute which the poor paid to the 
enjoyments of the rich. He assisted the poor in a barren 
year, and sacrificed a part of his income to re-establish 
plenty. He caused ways of communication to be opened, 
and introduced the culture of a vegetable, which may 
answer the purposes of wheat, and which is the most 
useful gift the new world has bestowed on the old. A 
little corner of the empire occupied those talents and that 
activity which all France claimed. Louis XVI. brought 
with him to the throne a wish to consult opinions, to re- 
lieve the people, to bring around him men of integrity 
and talents : he called Turgot to his councils. The sect 
of ceconomists beheld his elevation with delight : thev 
foretold the triumph of his principles ; but the clergy 
could not conceal their dissatisfaction. The new comp- 
troller general was surrounded only by philosophers, and 
did not dissemble those opinions and views which were 
calculated to alarm this first body of the state. To dis- 
seminate knowledge he favoured the liberty of the press, 
He is however accused of having restricted it to works fa- 
vourable to the principles of the ceconomists. The farmers 
of the revenue and financiers increased the number of his 
enemies, and the courtiers, terrified at his projects of re- 
form in the king's household/strove to bring his operations 
into ridicule. His favourite system was that of unlimited 


freedom of commerce : that in corn had always been 
subject to regulations,which policy had deemed necessary, 
to prevent the subsistance of the people from becoming 
a prey to avarice. Turgot would not permit it to be 
shackled. The times were unfavourable to the success 
of his project ; the year had not been fertile, a scarcity 
began to be felt; seditious movements began to take 
place, the people were excited against the minister by 
publications, which had all the appearances of patriotic 
zeal and humanity. 

M. decker particularly distinguished himself in this 
struggle; and the eloquence and tone of sensibility 
with which he gave colour to his principles, acquired 
him that popularity, which, at a later period, had a great 
influence on the fate of the empire. This ill success did 
not discourage him ; but it weakened the public confi- 
dence, and united the multitude, (who love or hate with- 
out enquiring into the motives of their love or aversion,) 
with able and artful men, who sacrifice the public good 
to their passions and interests. He abolished the import 
duties on articles of the first necessity. lie had resolved 
to replace the corvces, by a tax whicii should bear equally 
on all classes of the state. He annihilated companies and 
corporations, those sources of monopoly and scourges of 
industry. The feodal rights recalled to mind the days of 
servitude, they upheld the despotism of the great, and 
the misery of the poor; Turgot thought of rendering 
them purchaseable, and required that salt should be freed 
from all taxes. He had public instruction greatly at 
heart, and thought that the way to restore dignity to the 
nation was to disseminate knowledge. His project of 
provincial assemblies was blamed by the partizans of abso- 
lute power, as tending to fill the kingdom with federative 



republics. Witticisms, which in France have more weight 
than reasons ; the hatred of the parliaments, dark intrigues 
and violent clamours, forced him to retire in January, 
1776. The sensible part of the nation did him justice 
and regretted him. Greatness had not altered his philo- 
sophical moderation : the charms of study continued to 
embellish his latter days. He had cultivated every kind 
of human knowledge, and, from the time of Daguesseau, 
there had not been seen in France a minister so enlighten- 
ed. Several works from his pen prove the depth of his 
understanding and the variety of his talents. He died 
in 1781. 



Rome, after the death of Augustus, a prey to cruel and 
disgraceful tyrants, alternately raised to the throne, and 
taken from it by murder, was desirous of the quiet go- 
vernment of a virtuous prince. Vespasian, on being ele- 
vated to the empire, secured the peace and happiness of 
Rome. He even maintained its future tranquillity by 
the wisdom of his edicts ; and by making the will of the 
monarch subservient to the laws, dissipated the fears of 
the citizens, who had been accustomed for such a length 
of time to consider a new emperor as a new tyrant. 

The family of Vespasian was not illustrious. His fa- 
ther, Flavius Petronius, filled the office of receiver of 
the taxes, in Asia. Vespasian was born at Reate, in the 
country of the Sabines, five years before the death of 
Augustus. Accustomed to arms, he made his first 
campaign in Thrace. Narcissus, the favourite of Nero, 
afterwards appointed him to the command of a legion, 
destined to act against Great Britain. In that island, 
Vespasian greatly distinguished himself, and compelled a 
large portion of the warlike inhabitants to submit to the 
Roman arms. The consulship was the recompence of these 
exploits. Upon the expiration of that office, he lived in 
retirement, being apprehensive of Agrippimi, who was 
in enmity with the friends of Narcissus. The displeasure 
of Nero, which he incurred by falling asleep while that 
emperor recited some verses, of which he was the author, 
gave him fresh subject of alarm. The revolt in Judaea 

VESPASIAN. [italy. 

softened bis resentment, and induced him to turn his 
eyes upon Vespasian, in order to crush the rebellion. 
Nero was desirous of employing a general of no birth, 
but extraordinary talents. Vespasian was accordingly 
called from his retreat, and placed at the head of the 
army. The Jews, conquered and pursued, surrendered 
to the most skilful of the Roman officers. Ambition 
encreases with honours, and developes itself according 
to circumstances. Nero, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, 
having severally disputed the empire, Vespasian him- 
self conceived a hope of attaining it. The assistance of 
Mucianus and the watchfulness of Vologesus, king of the 
Parthians, secured to him the election. The governor of 
Egypt, and the army saluted him as emperor, in the year 
6& of J. C. He went to Rome, where his fame had al- 
ready preceded him. Under his reign, the power and 
glory of the empire were carried to a high degree. Ca- 
ria, Lycia, Achaia, Rhodes, Byzantium, Samos, Thrace, 
Cilicia, and other countries were reduced to Roman pro- 
vinces. But the wisdom of Vespasian was equal to his 
ambition. He corrected the abuses of former governors, 
repressed the licentiousness of the troops, restored justice, 
purified the senate, and enacted severe laws against usu- 
rers and extortioners. Vespasian likewise evinced his 
liberality to men of talents. Apollinaris, a tragic wri- 
ter, Diodorus and Terpnus, experienced particular proofs 
of his bounty. The frontier towns were fortified, tlie 
cities in the interior embellished, a temple in honour of 
peace, and a new amphitheatre, added to the magnifi- 
cence of Rome. 

But Vespasian was peculiarly distinguished from his 
predecessors by his clemency ; this was evinced in the 
case of Metius Pomposianus; he was pointed out to the 

italy.] VESPASIAN. 

emperor as a man who aspired to the empire. I will 
make him consul, said Vespasian, in order that if he be 
raised to the throne he may recollect I was serviceable to 
him. His reply to a young nobleman who presented 
himself before him, to return thanks for an appointment, 
highly perfumed and covered with ointment, is well known. 
His affection for his people induced him to reject an in- 
vention of a mathematician, who offered to transport, at a 
small expence, some immense columns. He however, re- 
warded his ingenuity, saying, " I approve your discovery, 
without wishing to profit by it; — let me find employment 
for the poor." Such was his magnanimity, that he was never 
offended at truth, however obnoxious it might be to self- 
love. Never, says Suetonius, did he consider the inde- 
pendent spirit of philosophy, as a crime. He did not 
even punish the sarcasm of a slave to whom he had gra- 
tuitously given his freedom, and who said to him with 
some petulance, " the fox changes his hair, but not his 
character," in allusion to the avarice for which Vespasian 
was in general accused. His avarice, however, for which 
history reproaches him, will appear to have had its foun- 
dation in economy, when it is recollected that upon his 
elevation to the throne, the public treasure was more 
than eight millions in debt. 

Vespasian died at Reate, the place of his birth. Un- 
til his last moment he continued to occupy himself on 
public affairs, and replied to those who advised him to 
seek repose, " It is proper an Emperor should die stand- 
ing." He expired on the 24th of June, in the ?9ih year 
of J. C. and the 69th of his age, leaving behind two sons 
of very different character, Titus and Domitian. 

VESPASIAN. [italy. 

History has placed Vespasian among the number of 
those men who are born for the happiness of mankind ; 
and formed for the re-establishment of empires, which 
had been shaken by follies and by crimes. 


Erujravdd oy ireor-oe Cooke . 

(nidCTi-.'fijilLskedq) Vernor Bood. & Sharpe,Ii>uUryI> 


This painter was born near Rotterdam, in the year 
1659. At the age of nine he entered into the school of 
Picolet, a portrait painter. Controlled afterwards in his 
pursuits, by his parents, who intended him for another 
profession, it was not without considerable difficulty 
that he received the lessons of Eglon Vanderneer. He 
continued with this master four years, and made so happy 
a progress as laid the foundation of his fame. 

He took infinite pains to improve himself, after the 
best plaister figures, cast from the antique he could pro- 
cure; so that he was introduced into the world at a very 
early time of life with all possible advantages. He at 
first employed himself in painting portraits, in the man- 
ner of Netscher; but he soon became disgusted with that 
kind of painting, and devoted himself entirely to histori- 
cal subjects. A fortunate circumstance drew Vander 
Werf from obscurity, and made his fortune. The Elec- 
tor Palatine, travelling incognito in Holland, was so 
delighted with one of the pictures of this artist, that 
he immediately purchased it, and conferred upon him 
the honour of knighthood. He also allowed him a 
noble pension, and shewing him every mark of real 
esteem, bestowed on him other proofs of liberality and 
beneficence. Of this distinction Vander Werf evinced 
himself worthy, by the exertion of his talents and his 
unbounded gratitude. 

VANDER WERF. [holland. 

The genius of Vander Werf directed him peculiarly 
to the painting of history in small, which he finished 
in a most exquisite manner. His pencil is tender 
and sweet, and his design correct; yet, in most of his 
works, his colouring is cold, although in the polish of 
his finishing he had no superior. He spent a great deal 
of time on his pictures ; but intense labour tended to di- 
minish the spirit of his works. The pictures of this emi- 
nent master are still purchased at very high prices, and 
are rarely to be met with. 

He died in the year 1727, at the age of 68. 



Virgil, the prince of the Latin poets, was born in 
the year of Rome 684, under the consulship of Pompey 
and L. Crassus. He was the son of a potter of the vil- 
lage of Andes, about three miles from Mantua. He 
passed his early years at Cremona, from whence he 
removed to Rome, when his country was divided amongst 
the soldiers after the battle of Philippi. He was be- 
loved by Augustus, and lived in habits of friendship with 
Mecaenas, Horace, Pollio, and other distinguished per- 
sons. He was one day received at the theatre with 
acclamations that were only given to the emperor : 
and was observed frequently, as he passed through the 
streets of Rome, to secrete himself from the eager cu- 
riosity of the people. He possessed all that negligence 
and modesty so conspicuous in men of real genius, which 
appear, says Voltaire, to be given to persons of superior 
endowments, to shelter them from the envy of their con- 

Virgil, during his residence at Mantua, studied the 
Greek language, and acquiring through that medium a 
knowledge of physic, of the mathematics and philosophy, 
he possessed himself of those solid attainments which 
assist talents, and secure their success. 

Through the friendship of Mecasnas he was introduced 
to the emperor, who restored to him his estate; and af- 
terwards loaded him with his favours. The various poems 
of Virgil attest his gratitude. 


He first wrote the Bucolics, and then the Georgics. 
After these were finished, and had been read by Augustus, 
he began the iEneid, at the desire of the Emperor. This 
great poem has left the palm of superiority undecided 
between Virgil and Homer. The poet was engaged 
eleven years on this immortal work, which he did not live 
to complete. 

" The disposition of Virgil was remarkably timorous : 
as a proof of his modesty, the following anecdote is re- 
corded. Having written this distich on his patron,— 

"Norte pluit tota, redeujit spectacula mane, 
Divisum imperium cum Jove Cafsar habet, 

he placed it in the night on the gate of the palace. Au- 
gustus, pleased with so fine a compliment, was desirous of 
knowing the author, when Bathyllus, a miserable poet, 
avowed the verses, and obtained the reward. On this, 
Virgil again wrote the same lines, and under them, 

Has ego •cersiculosjecif tulit alter honores ; 

with the beginning of another line in these words, 

Sic vo$ non vobis, 
four times repeated. Augustus desired to have these 
lines completed, which Bathyllus could not effect. This 
Virgil accomplished, and having thus proved himself 
the author of the distich, he received a recompence, and 
the usurper was banished." 

Virgil died at Brundusium, in the year 19 B.C. in the 
57th year of his age. His remains were interred on a 
spot of the road leading from Naples to Puteoli, and the 
following epitaph was inscribed on his tomb : 

Mantua me genuit ; Calabri rapuere; tenet nunc 
Partkenope ; cecini pascua, rura } duces. 

-. - - - - . 

<l£shed,h''FenwrJSdod.i •' Tiei>.j.,iSag- 


Xenophon, a philosophical historian, and distin- 
guished captain, was the son of Gryllus. He was born 
at Athens, in the year 450 B. J. C, and at an early age 
joined the troops of Cyrus, who had revolted against his 
brother Artaxerxes Mernnon. He was at the battle of 
Cunaxa, in which Cyrus perished. He there acquired 
considerable reputation. It was after this battle that the 
celebrated retreat of the 10,000 Greeks from Babylon 
to Trebisond was made ; a retreat which Xenophon ad- 
vised, at which he presided, and which he has described 
with wonderful interest. Ln this difficult and dangerous 
march, all the eloquence of Xenophon was necessary to 
encourage his exhausted soldiers, who, deprived of their 
general, found themselves at a distance of from five to 
six hundred leagues from Greece. On his arrival in 
Thrace, he united his army, then reduced to six thousand 
men, with the Lacedaemonian troops, who were about to 
engage, under the orders of Thimbron, the satraps of 
the Persian monarch, Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus. 

In this war, the Lacedaemonians having frequently ex- 
changed their general, found themselves at last under the 
command of Agesilaus, in the plains of Coronaea, in Bce- 
otia, where, according to Xenophon, was fought the most 
arduous battle of his time. Xenophon was present in 
the engagement, and fought by the side of Agesilaus, who 
held him always in particular esteem. On the termina- 
tion of the war, Xenophon retired with his two sons to 


Corinth, where he passed the remainder of his life. He 
died at the age of 90, in the year 360 B.J. C. 

The Lacedaemonians had given to Xenophon an estate 
adjoining the city of Elis : there, during the interval 
of peace, he composed his works, which have handed 
him down to posterity more than his warlike exploits. 
His Cyrop&dia, an historical romance, presents a fine 
picture of the education and the virtues of a great prince > 
and his History of the Retreat of the Ten Thousand, a pre- 
cious morsel of histoiy, is written by a general, who 
could say, et quorum pars magna fui. We have also of 
Xenophon particular treatises on historical subjects. He 
likewise wrote upon riding and hunting. 

In the opinion of Cicero, which is conformable to that 
of antiquity, the Muses seem to have spoken by the 
mouth of Xenophon. Quintilian says, that the Goddess 
of Persuasion dwelt on the lips of this philosopher. He 
praises in him a sweetness remote from all affectation^ 
and which no affectation could attain. 

Painted, hy -Allc 

£nora.ved by G-eorgc Coolu. 

Judith with the Head, of ffolofernes 

ondjOtuTuhli/hii. by Vtnurr,Secd l: Shzrpc . Poultry,- Sspi. j . 180$ 



This subject has been often treated by professors in 
the art of painting. Judith holds in one hand the head 
of Holofernes, and in the other the sword of the warrior, 
with which she killed him. Her servant is beside her. 
Over their head is a red curtain. The back ground of 
the picture is brown. 

& J 

Lanzi,an Italian author, relates a curious circumstance 
of this picture, which attracted considerable admiration 
upon its being exposed to public view. The figure of 
Judith presents a portrait of a lady who was under the 
protection of the painter. Her mother is represented in 
the person of the old woman, and Allori took the head of 
Holofernes from his own model, having previously suf- 
fered his beard to grow, for the purpose, for a considera- 
ble time. 

This picture presents many beauties. If the figures have 
not the dignity of history, they are well painted, and 
ably coloured. The draperies are not happily exe- 
cuted, but are not devoid of richness and harmony. The 
robe of Judith is yellow, raised with gold; her mantle 
blue, and the lining red. The dress of the servant is 
white. The cushion, of which only a part is seen, is 


green, with a gold fringe. All the accessaries are well 
imagined ; but the touch in them is somewhat heavier 
than in that of the carnations. The chiaro-scuro is well 
conceived. This picture was taken from the palace Pitti, 
at Florence. The figures are of the natural size. 

iy sculp. 

Laidmr.PubbjKd faj Verrurr.Hood Sc Sliarpe, Poultry .26 'co 



The subject of this picture will be found in the Evan- 
gelist St. Luke, chap. vii. verse S6. 

This incident has been treated by various painters be- 
fore Le Brun ; but they never attempted to surmount the 
difficulties that presented themselves. Le Brun, on the 
contrary, by placing the table in perspective, has had the 
address to avoid this obstacle, and his principal figures 
occupy the centre of the composition. . But he appears 
not to be sensible of the advantages which might have 
resulted from this arrangement. The general disposition 
is somewhat confused, and the figure of Simon not suffi- 
ciently visible. The slave on the foreground, who raises 
a species of casket, is one of those insignificant accessaries 
which Le Brun has introduced into the greater part of 
his works, and which are rarely rendered supportable by 
the merit of the execution. In short, the personages 
occupying the background are not joined with sufficient 
art to those who fill the front of the picture. Such are 
the defects that the several defamers of Le Brun might 
point out in this composition, which in other respects 
exhibits beauties of the first order. 

The figure of the female sinner, and that of Jesus 
Christ, are drawn with peculiar dignity ; the latter pre- 


senis a noble attitude, and is full of expression. The 
head of the female evinces a feature of repentance and 
mildness perfectly correspondent to the subject. This 
figure is likewise attired with much taste. 

This production, one of the best of Le Brun, was 
produced at a time when he endeavoured to vie with the 
compositions of Poussin. The colouring, although some- 
what heavy, has considerable harmony. 

The height of the picture is twelve feet; it is about ten 

Zcna'/m, Pu /-ash a' • y Vernor, He, *a! & ■Sliarpe.l'mJlry.iSoa. 



The holy scriptures make mention only of two Mag- 
dalens: one the sister of Lazarus; the other Mary 
Magdalen, so called, from the village of Magdala, 
situate in Galilee. This latter female, after having been 
cured by Jesus, attached herself to that divine personage, 
accompanied him in all his journeys, followed him to 
Mount Calvary, and, after having seen him deposited 
in the tomb, returned to Jerusalem in order to procure 
perfumes to embalm his body. During her absence, 
Christ had risen, and filled her with considerable sur- 
prize, by presenting himself to her view. We have no 
other particulars of this interesting character. 

The appellation, therefore, of Magdalen, so universally 
given to the female sinner, the subject of the picture 
before us, and of whose name even we are ignorant, is, 
perhaps, improper. In other respects, all that is re- 
lated of this converted courtezan, will be found in the 
Gospel of St. Luke, chap. vii. verse 3. 

She is represented by Le Brun, with all the expression 
of grief and remorse. She has broken and trodden under 
foot the fragile ornaments of her vanity; the objects of 
luxury and seduction, and the infamous price of her 
misdeeds. For the last time, she appears to have con- 
emplated, in a glass, her fleeting charms, those vain 


attractions, which allured her into guilt. She rends her 
apparel, raises her eyes to heaven, swollen with her 
tears; aluminous cloud breaks over her head, and attests 
the effect of the divine mercy, which delivered her to 
repentance, and restored her to virtue. 

This picture, skilfully designed, and rich in point of 
ordonnance, but deficient in colouring, was painted for 
the Convent of the Carmelites. It is said that Le Brun 
conceived the idea of representing, in the person of the 
Magdalen, the features of a woman, celebrated for her 
follies and her remorse : — the Duchess de la Valliere, one of 
the mistresses of Louis XIV. We can, however, scarcely 
believe, that Le Brun, loaded as he was with the favours 
of that monarch, would have had the imprudence to carry 
such a design into execution. The figure has, moreover, 
not the smallest conformity with the known portrait of 
Madame de la Valliere. 

The picture of The Sinner Converted (for such should 
be its title, and not that of the Magdalen, with which 
it has no connexion) was removed, at the beginning of the 
revolution, from the Church of the Carmelites, to the 
Central Museum. — It now forms a part of the Museum 
of Versailles. 



The combat of the Horatii and the Curiatii, by which 
Alba was rendered tributary to Rome, is celebrated in 
history. The details of this event have been related by 
Livy ; and Corneille has made it the subject of one of 
his finest tragedies. 

The incident represented by M. David, is not re- 
ported by historians; but he has, in no manner, swerved 
from probability, which is sufficient for painters and for 

The artist has imagined, at the moment when the three 
brothers are about to set out for the battle, that the elder 
Horatius, holding their swords in his hand, makes them 
swear to conquer or perish : beside them Sabina is dis- 
covered in a swoon ; the young Camilla, leaning her head 
upon that of her sister; and the mother of the three war- 
riors, who embraces her grandson, appear to lament the 
fate that threatens them. 

In the group of the defenders of Rome, the husband 
of Sabina, supposed to return conqueror, is first dis- 
tinguished: — he is in the fore-ground; his free and in- 
trepid attitude forms a fine contrast to the more impe- 
tuous ardour of his brothers. 


This picture, exhibited in the year 1784, was received 
with enthusiasm by the amateurs, and by the public. 
The style of the composition, the boldness of the design, 
the vigorous colouring, and tasteful execution, were par- 
ticularly admired. 


1 » 5 

- • 


V \ \ - - -~ 




-- a 


Gerard pzna? , 

* Saruls scidp. 

I,s>7id(rn;Z f tiohs}id 1 hy T'er-rwr.ffaotL & SJuzrp e, Poultry, 18 op . 



This drawing was made as a frontispiece to the second 
book of the large edition of the Georgics, published by 
Didot. The subject is taken from Virgil's animated de- 
scription of the pleasures of a country life, beginning, 

O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint, 

Agricolas, quibus ipsa, procul discordibus armis, 

Fundit humo facilem victum justissima tellus ! 

Si non ingentem foribus domus alta superbis 

Mane salutantum totis vomit aedibus undam 

Nee varios inhiant pulchra. testudine pontes 

Illusasque auro vestes, Ephyrei'aque aera; 

Alba necque Assyrio fucatur lana veneno, 

Nee casia liquidi corrumpitur usus olivi ; 

At secura quies, et nescia fallere vita, 

Dives opum variarum ; at latis otia fundis, 

Speluncas, vivique lacus ; at frigida Tempe, 

Mugitusque boum, mollesque sub arbore somni 

Non absunt; illic saltus ac lustra ferarum, 

Et patiens operum, exiguoque assueta juventus ; 

Sacra Deiim, sanctique patres: extrema per illos 

Justitia excedens terris vestigia fecit. &c. V. 457. 

From this celebrated passage, the artist has exhibited 
a domestic scene, replete with naivete, and expression. 
The effect of the chiaro-scuro is admirable; all the figures 

are in demi tint; the little portion of light they receive, 
from the rays of the setting sun, issues from the window. 
This pastoral subject, in the hands of an artist so able as 
Gerard, has produced a delightful picture. 

Haijitid. by GuiS: JShzii . 

Engraved Ij George Cooke. 

Hercules killing ihe. Hydra.. 

LoncLoruTuMipud, by Verncr.Hcodi.lC Skarpe.Jbultrv-, Sept. i.iJoj. 



The Hydra, a monstrous serpent, born of Typhon and 
Echidna, ravaged the plains in the neighbourhood of 
Lerna, and devoured the flocks and cattle. It had seven 
heads, according to Apollodorus, fifty according to Si- 
mo aides, and an hundred, according to Diodorus. As 
one was beaten to pieces, another immediately sprang 
up. Its venom was so subtile, that an arrow infected 
with it occasioned instant death. Hercules overcame the 
monster, steeped his arrows in his blood, in order to 
render his wounds mortal, which produced the most 
dreadful effect. 

The fable of the Hydra is an allegory, under which the 
ancients have transmitted to us the commemoration of a 
real event. A number of serpents infested the marshes 
of Lerna, adjoining Argos : they appeared to generate 
as fast as they were destro} T ed. Hercules, assisted by his 
companions, cleared the country entirely of them, by 
setting fire to the rushes of the marshes, the ordinary 
retreat of these reptiles, and rendered the place habit- 
able. Other historians relate, with a greater appearance 
of truth, that from these marshes flowed several streams 
that inundated the country ; to remove which Hercules 
dug ditches, projected canals to drain off the water, and 
made the land fit for the purposes of agriculture. 


This picture, painted by Guido, is the last of the four 
he produced to represent the labours of Hercules. The 
three others are, the Rape of Dejanira, the Death of Her- 
cules, and the Combat of this hero with Achelous. 

In representing the defeat of the Hydra, Guido has 
not strictly adhered to mythology ; to fight which, it is 
related that Hercules mounted his chariot ; that his ne- 
phew Iolaus, the son of Iphiclus, acted as charioteer, 
and burnt the heads of the Hydra as Hercules cut them 
off. This was the only method that prevented their re- 
generation. A crab crept to the assistance of the Hydra. 
This Hercules destroyed, and killed the monster. It is 
added that Eurystheus would not consider the event as 
one of the twelve labours attributed by the gods to the 
son of Alcmena, because Iolaus had assisted him in the 


JksSecitZz- of \-7of 'i/i * 

Zc7iSon;IiiMuk2 h/ Vcrw.T&eS. 3- S~harve.Tr^tri/,iSoj. 



This picture, the composition of M. Gros, a disciple 
of the celebrated David, experienced, during its exhi- 
bition, the most flattering success. It is distinguished 
for tastefulness of design, truth of expression, and faci- 
lity of touch. 

The passion of Sappho for Phaon, and her unfortunate 
death, are too well known to need description. Incensed 
at the coldness of her lover, she threw herself into the 
sea, from the summit of Mount Leucas. 

To the memory of this illustrious female, various sta- 
tues were erected by the Greeks, none of which have 
descended to our hands. She flourished about 600 B. C. 
and excelled in lyric poetry. She was held in such esti- 
mation by her countrymen, that they stamped her image 
on their coin. 

Although various fragments of her poems are extant, 
nothing can exceed in beauty the following ode, trans- 
ited by Philips. 

Blest as th' immortal Gods is he, 
The youth, who fondly sits by thee, 
And hears and sees thee all the while, 
Softly speak, and sweetly smile. 


'Twas this depriv'd my soul of rest, 
And rais'd such tumults in my breast, 
For while I gaz'd, in transport tost, 
My breath was gone, my voice was lost: 

My bosom glow'd ; the subtile flame 
Ran quick through all my vital frame; 
O'er my dim eyes a darkness hung ; 
My ears with hollow murmurs rung. 

In dewy damps my limbs were chill'd ; 
My blood with gentle horrors thrill'd ; 
My feeble pulse forgot to play ; 
I fainted, sunk, and dy'd away. 




Achilles, the son of Thetis and of Peletis, was the 
principal hero of Greece. An oracle had predicted that 
he would perish under the walls of Troy, he therefore 
"became the most formidable enemy of the Trojans. 
During the progress of the siege, being, with reason, 
incensed at the insult offered to him by Agamemnon, in 
taking from him his captive Briseis, he retired to his 
tent, and refused any longer to assist the Grecian cause. 
His absence decided the victory in favour of the Trojans, 
and Patroclus, fighting no longer by the side of his friend, 
fell beneath the sword of Hector. The consternation 
and discouragement that prevailed in the army, com- 
pelled Agamemnon to send deputies to appease the anger 
of Achilles, and to induce him to resume his arms. The 
desire of avenging the death of Patroclus, instigated the 
son of Thetis to return to the combat: he seeks Hector, 
deprives him of life, and drags his body three times 
round the walls of the city, and the tomb of his lamented 

The moment in which the deputies appear before 
Achilles, and entreat him, by his presence, to carry vic- 
tory into the Grecian camp, is the subject of the picture 
before us. The artist has indicated by the lyre, which 



he has placed in the hands of Achilles, that this hero, so 
terrible in battle, cultivated the fine arts, and, in the 
opinion of the ancients, that he even excelled in music 
and poetry. 



Th i s picture represents a family, from the lower orders 
of society, enjoying the pleasures of the table, and form- 
ing amongst themselves a rustic concert. It has long 
maintained considerable celebrity, from the originality 
of the subject, the variety of its colouring, and delicacy of 

This composition is now in the Napoleon Museum. 

The fpuj^l ■ 

■ - ■: Fsultrj- i\- ,r l. 



The subject of this picture is very simple. A book is 
open on a table, and the four Evangelists appear to me- 
ditate on some important passage, which one of them 
prepares to transcribe. 

The artist having failed in giving to each of the Evan- 
gelists the attributes by which they are characterised, 
St. John is the only one who is known. 

The drawing, though sufficiently correct, is so devoid 
of dignity and grace, as in no manner to recal the idea 
which the mind is disposed to form of these personages. 
In point of colouring, the work merits peculiar attention. 
The tints are vigorous, and the touch bold. The white 
robe of St. John forms in the centre a large mass of 
light. The cloak of the old man, placed on the right of 
this apostle, is of a brown colour. The Evangelist hold- 
ing a pen, has a violet drapery. The curtain in the back 
ground is of a lively red. 

J Jordaens has committed a fault, common to other 
painters, in giving to the books a form too modern, arid 

in substituting a pen for the style with which the an- 
cients used to write. 

The figures, in part seen, are of the natural size. 

Meruu/cmt puix* 

Sands sculpt 


Xtmd<m;Abh.shti Try Ternar.Hocrl & S harp e, Poultry. 18 og. 



It is somewhat surprising, that no painter, before 
Menageot, should have treated a subject so proper to deve* 
lope the beauties of the art, and so honourable to artists 
in general. Historians who have related this anecdote 
vary considerably in their recitals. Some writers assure 
us that Leonardo da Vinci, then sick, was seized with 
such a paroxysm of joy and gratitude, in receiving the 
visit of the king, that his emotion was attended with fatal 
consequences, and that he died in the monarch's arms. 
Vasari, a cotemporary author, thus expresses himself in 
in his work, entitled Vite dt Pittori, fyc. 

" Advanced in years, Leonardo da Vinci had been ill 
several months, and, finding his end approaching, he 
turned his ideas towards religion. The king was accus- 
tomed frequently to visit him, and to give him assurances 
of his esteem. One day, Leonardo having, out of re- 
spect, raised himself in his bed, recounted to the king 
the affliction under which he laboured, and expressed his 
regret at not having been able to carry his art to the 
degree of perfection he desired. He experienced an at- 
tack, which proved the forerunner of his death: the 
king approached, to render him assistance, and Leonardo 
expired in his arms. He was then in his 75th year." 



The picture of M. Menageot, a member of the ancient 
academy of painters, and formerly president of the French 
school at Rome, was exhibited about twenty years since, 
and met with the most general approbation. It is one of 
those compositions which manifest the return of good 
taste in the French school ; it combines with much dig- 
nity of expression, correctness of design, and vigour of 
colouring, a flowing and easy pencil, and the most rigid 
attention to costume. This picture, the figures of which 
are of the natural size, has been for some time placed 
in the Gobelins, It has been there wrought in tapestry, 
with unexampled skilL 



Upon the death of Joseph, and all his generation, the 
people of Israel multiplied in Egypt in the most extra- 
ordinary manner. At this period the king ordered his 
subjects to oppress the Hebrews, with a view of de- 
creasing their numbers. He appointed officers, who 
condemned them to painful labour, and pushed his 
hatred against that nation to such an extent, as to enjoin 
the midwives to put the children of the Israelites to death, 
who were born males. This resource not being sufficient 
to appease his fury, he resolved to persecute the Jews, 
not in secret, as before, but openly and avowedly, and 
promulgated an edict by which he condemned all the 
male children of the Hebrews to be thrown into the 

A little time after this cruel proclamation, a man of 
the tribe of Levi had a son, of uncommon beauty. The 
mother of the infant concealed his birth for three months ; 
but finding that she could no longer secrete him, she took 
a panier of rushes, which she hardened with slime and 
bitumen, and placing her son in it, exposed him on the 
borders of the river, among the flags. The daughter of 
king Pharaoh, walking with her companions on the 
banks of the Nile, perceived the young Israelite, took 
him from the waters, and adopted him. This child, thus 
happily preserved from death, received the name of 


Moses, and proved in the end the liberator of the He-* 

Poussin was in his sixtieth year when he painted this 
picture, in which are evident the vast conceptions of a 
superior genius. The manner in which the artist has ex- 
pressed the grief and dejection of the parents of Moses, 
and the conscious security depicted in the countenance of 
the child, who is insensible of his danger, cannot be suf- 
ficiently extolled. The landscape is one of the finest of 
Poussm's: the high towers, the palace, and buildings, re- 
present the capital of a great state, and form the richest 
and most variegated back ground that can be conceived. 

To indicate, with greater precision, the place of the 
scene, the artist has introduced into his composition a 
river and a sphinx. Poussin perhaps ought to have de- 
picted the river by a statue, instead of an animated 
figure, and not to have introduced a mythological idea, in 
a subject taken from the Bible. In the picture of the 
" Passage of the Jordan," Raphael has painted the river 
god supporting his waters, to leave no obstruction to the 
march of the priests, who carry the ark, and the people 
of Israel: but the sublimity of the thought palliates 
the inconsistency. In the composition before us, Pous- 
sin has not the same motive to alledge. 

This picture w r as considered one of the most valuable 

of the Orleans collection. 

: - - « - WQ& g 



Rome, while in her infancy, being surrounded by 
neighbours whom she feared, meditated their subjuga- 
tion. This design she early manifested by continual ag- 
gressions. '1 he Sabines, a people more temperate, but 
no less courageous than the Romans, were often the 
object of their insult. The rape of their women tended 
in a particular manner to sow the seeds of dissension 
among the two nations. Romulus having frequently so- 
]icited their daughters in marriage for his soldiery, the 
senate rejected this means of alliance with disdain. The 
Romans dissembled their revenge, resolving, at the same 
time, to obtain by force that which had been refused by 
entreaty. To accomplish this project Romulus caused 
a fete to be celebrated in honour of Neptune, which 
the Sabines and the people of Caenina attended. 
After having liberally regaled them, they were seated in 
the most convenient spot to observe the entertainment. 
But while attentive in viewing the diversions of the fes- 
tival, the Romans, by order of Romulus, threw them- 
selves sword in hand into the crowd, carried away the 
virgins, and drove their fathers and mothers out of the 

This historical trait has been adopted by various pain- 
ters, but no one has handled it so happily as Poussin. 
This great painter has varied all the expressions of tiie 



numerous figures which form this composition with an 
art he exclusive^ possessed. 

Accompanied by two senators, Romulus, in an heroic 
and imposing attitude, lifts his cloak as a signal for 
the attack. At this moment all is confusion. A Ro- 
man soldier arrests a female flying with her husband. 
Another woman, seized by a warrior, defends herself 
with one hand, and raises the other to heaven, which she 
appears to invoke in vain. In the midst of these two 
groups, upon a distant ground, a mother is beheld upon 
her knees, before Romulus, imploring the restoration 
of her daughter, whom a Roman has just taken from her. 
On the other side of the picture a girl shelters herself in 
the arms of her mother, while she repels a young war- 
rior, who manifests an expression rather of love than 

It would exceed our limits to enter into a detail of the 
beauties of this composition. The moment of anxiety and 
agitation is most ably represented. Poussin, however, 
may be censured for giving an air of magnificence to the 
building of the city, about which, in its beginning, no- 
thing ostentatious could appear. 



" Now Peter and John went up together into the 
temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 

" And a certain man, lame from his mother's womb, 
was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the 
temple, which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them 
that entered into the temple ; 

" Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the 
temple, asked an alms. 

" And Peter fastening his eyes upon him, with John, 
said, Look on us. 

(' And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive 
something of them. 

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but 
such as I have give I thee : in the name ol Jesus Ch-i^t 
of Nazareth, rise up and walk. 

" And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him 
up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received 


" And he leaping up, stood, and walked, and entered 
with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and 
praising God," &e. 

Acts, Chap. 3. 

Such is the subject of the present composition. 

If the sacred text, by its precision and clearness, 
offered to the artist the means of representing this 
miracle, with all its circumstances, it will be perceived, 
that Poussin, with his usual judgment, has not failed 
to profit of this advantage, and to seize upon every thing 
that could contribute to the happy delineation of his 
subject. St. Peter and St. John have an expression by 
which they are recognized. The astonishment and ad- 
miration of the Jews are very forcibly described. No- 
thing can be more apposite than the episode of the 
hardened Pharisee, who indignantly departs, while one 
of the new disciples of Jesus makes him observe the 
miraculous cure. The architecture, in the back ground, 
is rich, and indicates, with much propriety, the place 
of the scene. Every thing, in short, concurs to render 
this composition, so judiciously conceived, a model of 
that correct and dignified simplicity appropriate to his- 
torical subjects; and which is indispensable in those that 
are borrowed from the holy scriptures. 

. i h&ntMk 

I < m3 J m,;PuhTxsKcL By Yemsr .S"*- & Sh*rpe,l?™lSru,l8°g. 



The candour, the suavity of expression, the grace, the 
purity of the contours, the simplicity of colouring, the 
naivete of the pencil observable in this picture, have 
rendered it highly estimable in the opinion of connois- 
seurs. It is known under the name of the Madonna della 
Seggiola, and is deemed one of the most valuable pro- 
ductions of Raphael. It is executed in the second man- 
ner of that great artist. It is well known, that upon 
arriving at the third great epoch of his art, he acquired 
a bolder touch, and a more vigorous style of colouring ; 
but as this subject required more sweetness than dignity, 
more delicacy than vigour, its merit would not have been 
enhanced, had it been executed with a broader pencil, and 
in a more decisive mode of colouring. 

The picture of the Madonna della Seggiola decorated 
originally the Gallery at Florence: on its being brought 
into France, it was exposed for a time at the Museum: 
it is now placed in the Palace of Bonaparte at St. Cloud. 

In the description which Mengs has left us of the prin- 
cipal pictures in the Royal Palace at Madrid, this cele- 
brated painter, who united to a great superiority in his 
profession the talent of writing with much sagacity on 


the theory of his art, makes mention of a small picture, 
presumed to be by Raphael, similar to the composition 
under review. The only difference observable between 
the two works is, that the figure of St. John the Bap- 
tist is omitted in the picture in the Spanish collection, 
and the personages are of a smaller proportion than in that 
removed from Florence. The former picture appears to 
have been retouched by the hand of Raphael : it cannot, 
however, be considered as a perfect work, but simply as 
a sketch. The head of the Virgin, according to Mengs, 
is nevertheless entirely by the hand of that master : it 
is full of grace and expression, and may be put in com- 
petition with his other works. 



7 tM 

; ]Ji 

: ; 




■ 1- 



The Grand Duke of Tuscany espouses, by proxy, Mary 
de Medicis, in the name of Henry IV. The Cardinal, 
Aldobrandini, gives them the nuptial benediction. Near 
the queen, the Grand Duchess, Jane of Austria, and the 
Duchess of Mantua, are observable. The Duke de Belle- 
garde, principal equerry of France, bearer of the king's 
proxy, and the Marquis de Sillery, who had been ap- 
pointed to negociate this alliance, accompany the grand 
duke. The church of St. Mary del fiore*, where this 
event took place, is ornamented with garlands of flowers; 
and decorated with the utmost magnificence. Over the 
altar is a group in white marble, representing the Al- 
mighty, bearing his dead son upon his knees. 

Of the several pictures which compose the Luxembourg 
gallery, this composition approaches the nearest to histo- 
rical fact. We nevertheless find the abuse of allegory: 
Rubens has introduced the god Hymen, who with one 
hand holds his torch, and with the other supports the 
robe of the queen. This figure is peculiarly beautiful, 
and has no other. defect than that of being misplaced. 

This subject afforded Rubens an opportunity of dis- 
playing all the richness of his colouring. It is impossible 

* One of the churches at Florence, where the marriage was cele- 
brated, in the month of October, 1600. 


for the pallet to furnish more brilliant tints than those he 
has employed, and combined in the most harmonious 

Mary de Medicis has a robe of white satin. The dress 
of the grand duke is of the same stuff and colour: — his 
mantle is black; and the pontifical habits of the cardinal 
are of a lively red. Gold and precious stones glitter on 
the draperies of these figures, and are painted with a 
boldness of touch that is almost illusive. In order that 
the dresses of the nobles and princesses, present at the 
ceremony, might not equal in splendour those of the 
principal personages, Rubens has given to their attire 
soft and broken colours, which assort with each other. 
Hymen has a drapery of faint blue. The carpet is red, 
as likewise the throne, which is perceptible at the top of 
the picture. 

Among this assemblage of brilliant tones, the group 
of white marble would have appeared cold, if Rubens 
had not conceived the ingenious idea of enlightening 
the inferior part, by torches placed upon the altar. 
They communicate, to this group, tints of a ruddy hue, 
which imperceptibly combine wrth the grey tints of the 
marble, and give to this part of the work all the vigour 
of which it is susceptible. 

This picture is one of the most admirable of this valu- 
able collection. The heads are portraits adopted in the 
true and dignified taste of history. The correctness of 
the expressions, the beauty of the composition, the 
freshness and truth of the carnations, are such as to 
surpass all eulogium. 

Ii™3on ;Pi,bK.AcJ h-Venicr.H,"-.: .\->; , J>,*,Hn lr iAie. 



In this very complicated allegory, Rubens has repre- 
sented the happiness which accompanied the government 
of Mary de Medicis. This princess is seated upon 
a throne, richly ornamented. In one hand she holds a 
sceptre, and rests it upon the globe of France, which a 
genius upholds. In her other hand is placed the balance 
of Justice. Minerva appears to deliver her counsels to 
the queen, adjoining whom is one of the loves, symbol of 
the affection of the people. Abundance and Equity are 
contiguous to the throne. Equity distributes crowns of 
laurel and medals to the genius of the arts. Ignorance, 
envy, and calumny are overthrown, and rendered harm- 
less, although one of these monsters extends his arm 
towards the attributes of the arts, which he attempts to 
destroy. Time, under the figure of Saturn, crowned with 
fruits and flowers, shews to France the golden age, orna 
mented by two Fames floating in the air. In the back 
ground we perceive the columns of a temple decorated 
with foliage. 

A composition so extremely rich, presented contrasts 
of figures, and colours, of which Rubens has taken 
great advantage. The figure of Mary de Medicis is dig- 
nified, correct in point of drawing, and admirably colour- 
ed. This princess is cloathed in a blue mantle, lined with 
ermine, under which is a robe of pale blue, tied with a 


knot of diamonds. The carnations of Abundance and 
Equity are uncommonly fresh. The robe of Equity is 
red. France is attired in a blue robe, with a scarlet dra- 
pery underneath. The delicate carnations of the group 
of children form a contrast to the animated flesh of the 

The drawing of this picture is in many parts skilful and 
correct ; but in this respect the figures of Fame are 
perhaps defective, and their attitudes appear heavy and 

. . " '■ ." 



About to depart for Germany, and to carry into 
execution those plans which were to change the face of 
Europe, Henry IV. surrenders, to the queen, the admi- 
nistration of the kingdom. Such is the historical fact 
which Rubens has expressed in a very ingenious manner. 
In this picture the king presents to Mary de Medicis 
a globe, of a blue colour, embroidered with fleurs de 
]ys, of gold, the emblem of France. Behind Henry 
the principal officers of his army, in their military cos- 
tume, are observable. The dauphin is between the king 
and the queen, adjoining whom are Prudence and Fide- 
lity. The scene passes in an open gallery. 

This picture is one of the most beautiful of the Luxem- 
bourg collection. The execution is at once bold and 
laboured. In the physiognomy of Henry IV". dignity 
and beauty are united* The drawing of this figure is ex- 
cellent, if we except the legs, the contours of which are 
not happy. The group of French noblemen presents much 
grandeur of design, strength of expression, and vigour of 
colouring. The figures of the queen and the dauphin are 
remarkable for the delicacy of the carnations, and the soft 
and brilliant tones of the draperies. The two allegorical 
figures appear to have been the least attended to, whose 
costume is totally different from that of the other person* 


ages. It would, perhaps, have been more judicious in 
Rubens to have placed, contiguous to the queen, some 
of the ladies of the court, instead of the female dressed 
after the antique. The king is attired in white satin. 
The robe of the queen is violet. The vest of the young 
prince red and white. The dresses of these three figures 
are ornamented with gold and precious stones. All these 
tints, the variety of which is prodigious, harmonize the 
scene, and produce the most pleasing effect. 

J&ihws -pins-: 


ZrniZon;PubJish3. hy Farurr.ITeed i- S'larpe.I'i.iilfrv.ilia,) 



If Rubens had been born in Italy, and early formed 
his taste after the antique, his style would have been 
more pure and correct. Gifted with an energy as power- 
fully organized as that of Michael Angelo, he, like that 
great man, would have united elegance, and grandeur of 
design, to elevation of thought, and vigour of expression. 
As it is, we cannot deny that Rubens possessed a consi- 
derable share of anatomical knowledge. The motions of 
his figures are true, and the muscles ably pourtrayed; 
but he exhibits, at times, a want of dignity and variety 
in his contours. In his youth, this artist had impiinted 
on his works a character of originality. When he arrived 
at Rome, he was desirous of subduing an inclination 
which led him more to the imitation of nature, than to- 
wards the study of ideal beauty: he endeavoured to reform 
his taste, and to purify his style. This tended to restrain 
the fire of his imagination, and the vigour of his pencil: 
his touch lost its freedom, his carnations were less natural, 
and his expressions less pointed : he ceased to be himself. 
It was upon his return to Antwerp that he abandoned 
himself to that inexhaustible genius, which gave birth to 
so many works of the first order. 

These observations are founded upon the examination 
of the picture before us. In this composition, which was 
painted either in Italy, or immediately after his return to 


Flanders, Rubens attempted to imitate Caracci, in the 
disposition and the character of his figures, especially 
in those on the fore-ground. If we only beheld the body 
of Christ, in which the brilliant mellow pencil of Rubens 
is observable ; and the head of the soldier, covered with 
a helmet, it would be a matter of some difficulty to name 
the author of this performance. He has even deviated 
from the laws of chiar-oscuro, of which the pictures of 
the Venetian school developed to him the first principles, 
and which consists in uniting lights to lights, and shades 
to shades. In the picture of the Resurrection, the lights 
are dispersed, and the general effect impaired. 

Happily, Rubens was sensible that when the first edu- 
cation of an artist has been neglected, that is to say, when 
he has not, from his early youth, studied the chef d'ceu- 
vres of antiquity, it is a fruitless task to aim at correctness 
and purity of style. To this attainment Rubens re- 
nounced; and, by preserving certain defects, exhibited 
such numerous and extraordinaiy beauties, that his very 
imperfections are forgotten. 

TcaQasau jrvna . 

Ztmdari.P'ihkshd hf l^rruTrffloocL 3c -Shctrpe r PeiJtry r i^oo 




Apollo, banished from heaven, sought an asylum, 
for some time, with Admetus, king of Pheres, in Thessaly. 
In gratitude for the reception he had received, he be- 
came the tutelary divinity of the house of that prince. 
Admetus was attacked by a mortal disease. Apollo 
snatched him from the fate which threatened him, upon 
condition that another person should become the devoted 
sacrifice. His wife, Alceste, presented herself as the 
only victim. Proserpine, affected at the grief of Adme- 
tus, was desirous of restoring Alceste. This Pluto op- 
posed. Hercules descended into hell, seized upon 
Alceste, and delivered her to her husband. 

This picture was exposed at one of the last exhibitions, 
in the Louvre ; and met with considerable approbation. 
The figures are of the natural size. 



After his resurrection Jesus Christ entered into the 
village of Emmaiis with two of his disciples, who did 
not recognize him until being at table, Jesus took the 
bread, hallowed it, and presented it to them. Immediately 
after he disappeared. 

This picture, finely preserved, is one of the most beau- 
tiful productions of Titian. The engraving of it by 
Masson is considered a masterpiece of art. It is distin- 
guished by the name of the Table Cloth of Masson, 
because that accessary is there engraved in a most admir- 
able manner. 






! . . tfvarpc f J?mL!f*y,33e$. 



The friendship that subsisted between Henry IV. and 
Sully is a singular trait in history. If the king, at any 
time, conceived he had distressed his minister, he was 
never easy, as he was heard to say, until he had asked 
his pardon; and Sully frequently enjoined his sovereign 
not to give him such proofs of favour and attachment, 
in order that the malcontents might suffer them quietly 
to promote the happiness of the people. Such were 
these extraordinary men, whom France did not know 
how to appreciate, until she had lost them. Their 
friendship has been immortalized by the arts. The fea- 
tures of the prince and his favorite have been on various 
occasions exhibited in the same frame, and, notwith- 
standing the beauty of the character of Mornay, Voltaire 
has greatly diminished the interest of the Henriade, by 
substituting him, in the place of Sully, whom we are 
always surprized, on reading the poem, not to see acting 
by the side of Henry IV. 

The artist, M. Vincent, has chosen an incident which 
recalls, at once, the battle of Ivry, one of the most cele- 
brated victories of Henry IV. and the part which Sully 
took in the success of the day. He had two horses killed 
under him, and received two severe wounds. 

Followed by the prisoners he had made, and sur- 


rounded by a numerous guard, he caused himself, the 
next day, to be conveyed, on a litter, to his estate at 
Rosny. Henry IV. who was then hunting in the en- 
virons of Bearons, perceiving Sully, hastened to meet 
him, and, alighting from his horse, he said to him, with 
much affection, " Mon bon ami, que je vous embrasse de 
mes deux bras; vous etes brave et franc Chevalier" And 
he immediately embraced him, in the presence of all 
the nobles of his suite. 

M. Vincent has delineated this interesting scene with 
much precision. The figure of Henry IV. displays that 
amiable frankness which engages all hearts. The gra- 
titude of Sully is strongly depicted in his countenance, 
and the warriors and courtiers surrounding the two prin- 
cipal personages, are very happily characterized. As to 
the merit of the execution, it is sufficient to say, that 
it is, in every respect, equal to the beauty of the sub- 
ject. The figures are of the natural size. 

Z..-n.1n,.&. :,l...: tf ! lur.-r,,„r,jIooiL v Sharpe, Paubzy,iB<y 



The subject of the picture before us will be found ia 
the Gospel of St. Luke, chap. ii. 

" And there were in the same country shepherds abiding 
in the held, keeping watch over their flock by night. 

" And lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them, and 
the glory of the Lord shone round about them ; and they 
were sore afraid. 

" And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold 
{ bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to 
all people. 

" For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, 
a Saviour, which is Christ our Lord," &c. 

The figures of this picture are of a proportion less than 
a foot. In our review of some other works of Vander- 
werf, we have used observations that are, in a manner, 
applicable to all the productions of this artist. The pre- 
sent work offers little variety k in point of taste and ex- 

The peculiarities of Vanderwerf are, correctness of de- 


sign and purity of expression, a certain dignity in his 
characters, but little energy. A careful pencil, the ex- 
treme finish of which sometimes degenerates into cold- 
ness ; a vigorous local tone, ■ but too deep and often 
clouded; a want of freshness in his demi-tints, which 
are not sufficiently in opposition with the colour of the 
shadows. The latter are frequently too much reflected, 
a defect visible in the present picture. The effect of the 
light is also but tamely expressed. Nevertheless, the 
works of Vanderwerf merit a particular place in the ca- 
binets of the curious. They are somewhat rare, and on 
that account have ever fetched considerable prices. 

-<_ i 



Christ, dead, is extended upon the knees of his 
mother. The Virgin raises her eyes towards heaven, and 
appears overwhelmed with grief. St. John holds the 
hand of Christ, and discovers to an angel, whose body 
is enveloped in clouds, the wounds occasioned by the 
nails. This divine personage joins her hands in the 
manner the most tender and compassionate, while 
another, unable to witness the afflicting scene, conceals 
her face by a black drapery. 

Although Vandyck has painted several historical pic- 
tures, superior to the one under review, we still perceive 
many of the beauties by which the works of this great 
painter are distinguished. The character of death is 
well expressed by the livid countenance of Christ, and in 
the sinking down of the muscles of the body. It might, 
perhaps, have been desirable that the nudity of this figure 
had been more correct, in point of drawing. The ex- 
tended arms of the Virgin present, in some measure, 
a theatrical effect : but Vandyck received his style from 
Rubens, whose manner deviates, sometimes, from the 
simplicity of the great masters of Italy and France. 
The figures of the angel and St. John are well depicted, 
and are not wanting in dignity. 

The colouring of this picture has not all the delicacy 


of tints observable in tbe productions of Vandyck; but 
it possesses considerable vigour, and tbat skilful exagger- 
ation which is not a defect in an historical composition. 
The choice of drapery is made, with judgment, to concur 
in the general effect. The robe of the Virgin is white, 
coloured with demi-tints, her upper garment violet, and 
that of St. John dark brown. The sky, the clouds, and 
the rocks, present vigorous tones ; and the hand of a 
great master is discernable in the easy manner with 
which the picture is executed. The figures are of the 
natural size. 





Vouet has delineated, in a single picture, the por- 
traits of several artists, his contemporaries. They are re- 
presented before a table, covered with a cloth, variously 
occupied. He has there introduced his own picture: 
He is distinguished from the rest as sitting before an 
easel, holding in his hand a port-folio, upon which he 
has traced a slight sketch. 

The figures of this picture are of the natural size, and 
are painted with much freedom ; but the touch is some- 
what dry, and the colouring feeble. 

Z<mAm,jPubluJud ly Fa™-. Wood 3c Ska t f» !l J? m Uiy,jJSu>. 



This picture, about four feet in length, was painted 
for a private chapel of the church of St. Germain-l'Aux- 
errois at Paris; it then passed into the cabinet of M. de 
la Leve ; after which, it is presumed that it was de- 
stroyed by fire. 

The loss of this picture, admirable in point of compo- 
sition, and equal to that of St. Paul preaching to the 
Ephesians, which Le Sueur painted for the church of 
Notre Dame, will be ever a subject of regret by the lovers 
of the fine arts. We can scarcely notice a finer ordon- 
nance, a more happy disposition of grounds and groupes, a 
scene more noble and pathetic. With respect to the co- 
louring, if we may judge of it after a copy extremely well 
executed, which has been seen in the cabinet of an artist, 
it is not superior to the picture of St. Paul, and it is there- 
fore not on that account that the works of Le Sueur are to 
be proposed as models. 

It is not a trifling circumstance in favour of the pic- 
ture of St. Laurence, to have exercised the graver of 
Gerard Andran ; this great artist, far from weakening 
the beauties of the original, has delineated with peculiar 
energy the character and expression of it. An admirable 
draughtsman, he had the talent to correct the contours 
in those parts where the artist had manifested a kind of 


negligence and incorrectness. This is a compliment that 
was paid to him more than once by Le Brim, whose prin- 
cipal productions he has engraved in a grand style. 

There are few names so celebrated in the history of 
engraving as that of the Andrans. The talent appears to 
have been hereditaiy in the farnity, in which we reckon 
ten artists, who were more or less distinguished ; the three 
most skilful were Gerard, Benedict, and John. The num- 
ber of pieces published under the names of the Andrans 
was very considerable. 

> A 

I if J 



IPM©(D3©M t 

'Eruirai . i 



Phocion was the disciple of Plato and Zenocrates. 
He distinguished himself in his youth by the superiority 
of his talents, and the simplicity of his manners. His 
eloquence, forcible and concise, frequently destroyed 
the effect of the harangues of Demosthenes. Without 
soliciting any public situation, he was employed forty- 
five times by the government. At the head of the Athe- 
nian army, he exhibited always the air of a simple indivi- 
dual. Philip and Alexander attempted in vain to corrupt 
his fidelity. He refused a present of an hundred talents, 
sent him by the Conqueror of Asia, while at the time, 
such was his poverty, that he and his wife were occupied 
in domestic concerns. 

The Athenians, after the capture of the Piraeus, accused 
Phocion of betraying them. Unanimously condemned, 
he walked to prison with unshaken firmness, and ordered 
his son to forget the ingratitude of Athens. The victim, 
like Socrates, of a calumnious accusation, Phocion dis- 
played, in his last moments, the most heroic courage. 
He was then in the eighty-first year of his age. He died, 
it is conceived, in the year 318, B.J.C. The Athenians, 
in the end, convinced of his innocence, raised a statue 
to his memory, and put his accusers to death. 

The extreme simplicity of the costume, and the serene 


countenance of the statue, have long since determined 
antiquaries to consider it that of Phocion. It was found 
at Rome, among the ruins of the Palace Gentile, about 
the middle of the eighteenth century. Pope Pius VI. 
caused it to be conveyed to the r Vatican, from whence 
it was carried to the Louvre. The legs are modem. 



' ....;■ 



Hercules, accompanied by his usual attributes, the 
skin of the Nemaean lion, and his dub, is seated, and 
appears to solace himself after his labours. 

The fallen Hydra, at the feet of the hero, announces 
that he has just overcome that formidable monster. 

This subject, required of the artist in the most turbulent 
period of the French revolution, was allegorical of the 
circumstances which then existed. 

It was executed for the purpose of adorning the Pan- 
theon, formerly Sainte-Genevieve, (that celebrated monu- 
ment of works of art,) which, for some years past, has 
been honoured with its ancient name, and its primitive 
destination. The model is placed under the peristyle. 

This figure of Hercules is remarkable for the beauty 
of its attitude, the dignity of its character, and its judi- 
cious details. 



Aristides, sumamed the Just, was one of the most 
illustrious personages of Athens; the rival ofThemisto- 
cles, and surpassing him in virtue. He was banished by 
his countrvmen. Some time after, having been recalled, 
he forgot the injury he had received, and invited Themis- 
tocles to unite with him in exertion to save their country, 
attacked by the Persians. During the course of the war, 
Aristides rendered his country the greatest services, and 
essentially contributed to the success of the battles of Ma- 
rathon, of Salamis, and of Platsea. He superintended the 
finances, and had, for a long time, under his care, immense 
treasures, taken from the enemy. At his death, such was 
his poverty, that the state was obliged to defray the ex- 
pences of his funeral, and to provide for the subsistence 
of his children. 

In placing a shell in the hand of Aristides, M. Car- 
tellierhas recalled an interesting circumstance in his life. 
An inhabitant of one of the neighbouring villages of 
Athens, who had the right of voting, being ignorant of 
his person, desired him to inscribe, upon a shell, the 
name of Aristides, whose banishment he desired. " You 
have, doubtless, some complaint against him." " Not 
any," replied the villager, " but I am weary of hearing 
him always called the Just" Aristides took the shell, 



wrote his name on it, and returned it to him, without say- 
ing a word. 

Upon a cippus, near the statue, we perceive an extract 
from the decree by which he was banished. The style of 
this statue is good, and the drapery well adjusted. It is 
about five feet nine inches in height, 



The object of the author was to indicate, that Buona- 
parte, (then first Consul) at the moment he gave peace 
to France, cemented the bands of morality, by placing 
religion on a solid basis. 

This medal exhibits, on one side, the portrait of Buona- 
parte; and, on the reverse, the genius of France, pre- 
senting, with one hand, peace, as recognized by her 
attributes, and raising religion with the other. 

In the back-ground is seen the temple of Janu*. 


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npg N7575.H6X 
v. 6 The historic gallery of portraits